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Presented  to  the 


by  the 



The  West-Eastern  Divan 








•    . 


A  __ 

•,     SEP 



to  the  English  Goethe  Society  in 
memory  of  the  translator,  thtir 
President  for  twenty-two  years, 



I.  MOGANNI  NAMEH  (Book  of  the  Singer)  .  i 

II.  HAFIS  NAMEH  (Book  of  Hafiz)          .  .21 

III.  USCHK  NAMEH  (Book  of  Love)         .  .  33 

IV.  TEFKIR  NAMEH  (Book  of  Reflections)  .  47 
V.  RENDSCH  NAMEH  (Book  of  III  Humour)  .  63 

VI.  HIKMET  NAMEH  (Book  of  Maxims)  .  77 

VII.  TIMUR  NAMEH  (Book  of  Timur)        .  .  93 

VIII.  SULEIKA  NAMEH  (Book  of  Zuleika)  .  .  97 

IX.  SAKI  NAMEH  (Book  of  the  Cupbearer)  .  145 

X.  MATHAL  NAMEH  (Book  of  Parables)  .  163 

XI.  PARSI  NAMEH  (Book  of  the  Parsees)  .  169 

XII.  CHULD  NAMEH  (Book  of  Paradise)    .  175 



GOETHE'S  last  important  body  of  lyrical  poetry, 
the  West-Eastern  Divan,  is  known  to  very  few 
English  readers.  Many  persons  who  are  familiar 
with  Faust  and  Iphigenie  and  the  ballads  have 
never  opened  this  collection  of  verse.  Even  in 
Germany  the  Divan,  as  a  whole,  is  much  less 
known  than  it  deserves  to  be.  There  are  excuses 
to  be  pleaded  for  such  neglect.  The  Divan  is  the 
product  of  Goethe's  Indian  summer  of  art-life, 
the  rejuvenescence  that  came  to  him  when  he 
was  sixty-five;  and  Indian  summer  has  not  the 
mighty  ravishment  of  spring.  In  this  the  marks 
of  old  age  are  evident  in  thought  and  feeling,  in 
style  and  diction.  Few  of  its  poems  are  quite 
equal  individually  to  the  most  enchanting  of 
Goethe's  earlier  lyrics;  some  are  obscure  even  to 
German  commentators;  some  require  for  their 
comprehension  an  acquaintance  with  Goethe's 
scientific  ideas;  the  play  of  sexagenarian  love- 
making  in  the  book  of  Zuleika  may  be  easily  mis- 

Yet  the  Divan  has  had,  as  a  whole,  worthy 


lovers  and  diligent  students.  Hegel  placed  it  in 
the  forefront  of  modern  poetry;  Heine  learnt 
from  it  some  of  his  lyrical  manner,  and  wondered 
how  such  ethereal  lightness  as  that  of  certain  of 
its  poems  was  possible  in  the  German  language. 
It  was  the  subject  of  Diintzer's  laborious  scholar- 
ship— it  was  carefully  edited  by  Loeper.  No  one 
has  done  so  much  to  further  a  true  appreciation 
of  it  as  Conrad  Burdach,  and  it  was  the  subject 
of  his  Festvortrag  at  the  General  Meeting  of  the 
German  Goethe  Society  in  June  1896. 

My  husband,  whose  words  I  have  here  in  part 
reproduced,  says  in  continuation,  in  his  Essay  on 
"  Goethe's  West-Eastern  Divan "  (published  in 
Essays  Modern  and  Elizabethan,  J.  M.  Dent  & 
Sons):  "I  follow  the  guidance  of  that  excellent 
"scholar  and  would  aspire  to  come  with  a  long 
"  interval  after  Conrad  Burdach. 

"  Having  previously  known  the  poems  well,  I 
"  took  with  me  last  summer  (1907)  Loeper's  edition 
"  to  Cornwall,  and  found  that  the  game  of  trans- 
"  lating  Goethe's  poetry  into  what  aimed  at  being 
"  English  verse  could  be  played  on  the  wind-blown 
"cliffs  of  the  Lizard,  or  in  the  shadow  of  some 
"  fantastic  cave  of  Serpentine,  to  the  accompani- 
"  ment  of  the  Western  waves. 

"  Even  to  fail  in  such  a  game  was  to  enter  into 
"  the  joy  of  V amour  de  V impossible. 

"  By  slow  degrees  the  whole  of  Goethe's  silver 


"  arabesque  work  was  transmuted  into  Cornish  or 
"  British  tin.  But  the  foiled  translator  had  at 
"  least  to  scrutinize  every  line  of  the  original  and 
"  encounter  every  difficulty.  And  there  were  some 
"  things  so  wise,  so  humane,  so  large  in  their  serene 
"  benignity,  that  they  could  not  be  wholly  spoilt 
"  even  by  a  traduttore,  who  at  least,  as  regards  the 
"  sense  of  each  poem,  strove  not  to  be  a  traditore." 

Lay  readers  who  happen  to  have  at  hand  that 
volume  of  Edward  Dowden's  Essays  will  do  well 
to  set  aside  this  Foreword  and  seek  their  in- 
formation about  the  Divan  in  that  Essay  as  a 
whole.  (I  may  mention  here  that  it  has  been 
translated  into  German  and  published  in  the 
"  Erd-geist "  by  Herr  Paul  Tausig  of  Vienna,  trans- 
lator of  other  writings  of  E.  Dowden.) 

For  readers  who  cannot  immediately  refer  to 
that  Essay  for  information,  if  they  need  such,  I 
give  here  for  guidance  some  of  the  facts  noted 

Goethe,  from  his  early  years,  had  been  attracted 
to  the  poetry  of  the  East.  In  the  period  of  his 
youthful  Titanism  he  had  chosen  Mohammed  as 
the  central  figure  of  a  dramatic  poem,  and  had 
prepared  himself  for  the  task — never  to  be  accom- 
plished— by  a  study  of  the  Koran. 

In  1774  he  informed  his  friend  Merck  that 
he  had  translated  Solomon's  "Song  of  Songs," 
"  the  most  glorious  collection  of  love-songs  ever 


fashioned  by  God."  At  Weimar  he  had  trans- 
lated one  of  the  pre-Islamic  poems  of  the  Mu'alla- 
kat.  He  had  been  charmed  by  the  Indian  drama 
Sakuntula.  Roses  from  Saadi's  Garden  and  Jami's 
Loves  of  Laila  and  Majnun  had  introduced  him 
to  Persian  poetry. 

But  it  was  not  until  after  the  publication  of 
Joseph  von  Hammer's  celebrated  translation  of 
the  Divan  of  Hafiz  in  1812  that  the  great  German 
poet  became,  as  it  pleased  him  to  imagine  him- 
self, a  wandering  merchant  in  the  East,  trucking 
his  wares  for  those  of  Persian  singers.  He  speaks 
of  himself  in  this  character  in  the  dissertation 
which  follows  the  verse  of  the  West-Eastern  Divan. 

Is  Goethe  here  only  assuming  an  Eastern  garb? 
No — he  interprets  in  his  own  way  a  tendency  of 
the  time.  The  dominating  classical  influences, 
Greek  and  Italian,  had  waned  and  the  new 
romantic  literature  was  turning  to  the  East. 
But  the  East  of  Goethe's  imagination  was  not  the 
East  of  the  English  poets  who  had  looked  East- 
ward: Sout hey,  Shelley  or  Byron.  From  Byron's 
East,  indeed,  it  was  as  remote  as  possible. 

If  he  became  a  Romantic  poet  again  it  was  in 
his  own  original  and  incomparable  fashion.  He 
felt  profoundly  hostile  to  the  neo-Catholic  party 
in  the  Romantic  School,  and  in  the  Divan  some 
shrewd  thrusts  are  delivered  against  them  by  the 
old  Pagan — the  old  Pagan  who  was  in  spirit  more 


religious  than  they — who  had  found,  like  Hafiz, 
the  secret  of  being  "  selig  "  without  being  "fromm," 
which  fact  they  never  could  admit  nor  under- 

Goethe  turned  to  the  East  as  to  a  refuge  from 
the  strife  of  tongues,  as  well  as  from  the  public 
strife  of  European  swords.  There  the  heavens  were 
boundless,  and  God — the  one  God — seemed  to 
preside  over  the  sand- waste.  There  Islam — sub- 
mission to  God's  will — seemed  to  be  the  very  rule 
of  life. 

Before  all  else  the  merchandise  which  Goethe 
sought  to  purchase  in  the  East  was  wisdom  and 
piety  and  peace.  These  the  Persian  Hafiz  had 
somehow  found.  Hafiz — gay  but  also  wise — 
possessed  of  inward  piety,  did  not  pursue  with 
zeal  the  outward  practices  of  religion.  The  special 
quality,  as  Goethe  perceived,  of  the  Persian  poet 
was  his  spontaneity;  he  was  a  true  poetic  fount: 
"  wave  welling  after  wave/'  like  Goethe's  own 
lyrical  impulses  in  his  earlier  days,  when  song 
seemed  to  possess  him  rather  than  to  be  held  in 
possession.  There  was  another  circumstance  in 
common  with  them.  Hafiz — a  contemporary  of 
our  own  Chaucer — had  seen  Timur,  that  scourge 
of  God,  sweep  over  Persia  with  his  hordes  and 
spread  his  conquests  from  Delhi  to  Damascus. 
Another  Timur  had  aiisen  in  Europe  in  the  nine- 
teenth century  whose  name  was  Napoleon. 


Hafiz  could  not  stay  the  conqueror's  career; 
but  at  least  he  could  give  the  world  the  joy  of  his 
Ghazels — so  likewise  Goethe. 

With  a  strange  and  happy  return  upon  him 
of  the  creative  impulse  of  youth,  urging  him  to 
swift  and  spontaneous  jets  of  song,  Goethe,  in  the 
early  morning  of  25th  July  1814,  started  in  his 
carriage  from  Weimar  for  the  Rhine,  Frankfurt 
and  Wiesbaden.  It  was  seventeen  years  since  he 
had  visited  the  scenes  of  his  childhood  and  youth. 
Something  of  enchantment  was  added  by  this 
revival  of  the  past  to  the  Indian  summer  of 
Goethe's  sixty-fifth  year.  (With  an  arrange- 
ment of  certain  pieces  of  the  West-Eastern  Divan, 
as  indicated  by  Burdach,  we  can  make  out  a 
kind  of  diary  of  the  days  of  travel.) 

The  central  motive  of  the  poems  is,  in  truth, 
love.  First  there  is  benignant  charity  extended 
to  man  as  man;  secondly,  there  is  the  charming 
relation  of  the  old  sage,  poet  and  toper  of  wine 
to  the  boy-cupbearer,  blooming  in  beauty,  eager, 
as  a  boy  may  be,  for  wisdom,  a  relation  which  is 
lightly  touched  with  humour;  and  last,  there  is 
the  passionate  love  of  man  and  woman  exhibited 
in  that  ideal  pair,  Hatem  and  Zuleika. 

During  his  visit  to  Frankfurt  in  the  autumn 
of  1814  Goethe  had  the  pleasure  of  personal  inter- 
course with  his  friend,  the  Banker  Willemer — 


a  man  of  generous  heart  and  cultured  intelligence. 
Marianne,  his  third  wife — a  woman  of  thirty — 
had  bright  social  gifts  and  graceful  cultivation, 
besides  good  humour  and  good  sense.  She  be- 
came model  for  the  Zuleika  of  the  West-Eastern 
Divan,  accepted  her  part  as  Zuleika  with  pride 
and  pleasure,  and  played  up  to  it  with  spirit,  not 
without  a  sense  of  humour.  The  poems  are  poems 
of  passionate  love,  but  in  the  relation  of  Goethe 
and  the  good  Marianne — a  relation  absolutely 
honest — the  passion  was  born  for  the  imagination 
merely,  from  a  friendship  which  was  of  the  happiest 
kind  and  which  endured  without  interruption  up 
to  Goethe's  last  days,  though  after  1815  they 
never  met  again. 

A  few  beautiful  poems  in  the  collection  are 
Marianne's,  e.g.,  the  song  to  the  East  Wind  and 
the  lovelier  song  to  the  West  Wind  (which  every 
German  singer  knows  in  a  beautiful  musical 

The  secret  of  Marianne's  contribution  to  the 
Divan  was  well  kept.  She  disclosed  the  facts  not 
long  before  her  tranquil  death  at  the  age  of 

Loeper,  in  his  very  elucidating  Foreword  to  the 
Divan,  notes  that  we  find  in  it  only  the  expression 
of  the  active,  living  side  of  the  Orient;  it  shows 
forth  the  submission  to  God,  but  not  the  Fatalism 


of  the  East.  The  urge  in  it  is  all  towards  joy, 
towards  life,  towards  love,  out  of  the  depths  of  a 
serene  and  composed  spirit. 

From  out  the  narrow  room  and  narrow  local 
surroundings  of  his  home  the  poet  takes  his 
Hegira  into  the  open  world,  into  the  freedom  of 
Nature,  as  well  as  also  into  the  freedom  of  human 
intercourse,  in  foreign  towns,  in  the  market- 
places, the  taverns. 

When  the  book  came  to  light  in  1819,  in  the 
epoch  of  the  Byron  Welt-Schmerz,  it  must  have 
seemed  as  though  it  were  a  protest  against  all  en- 
mity towards  the  world  and  humanity — inasmuch 
as  it  is  wholly  free  from  all  trace  of  self-torturings 
or  of  immersion  in  subjectivity.  Goethe's  world 
herein  knows  no  such  melancholy,  for  the  pain 
and  sorrow  and  the  longing  that  it  may  contain 
have  tangible  objects  and  are  never  otherwise 
than  sound  and  sane. 

The  calm  Indian-summer  radiance  illumines 
it  all. 

E.  D.  D. 

December  1913. 




Twenty  years  I  let  go  past, 
Joying  in  what  life  provides  ; 

A  train,  each  lovely  as  the  last, 

Years'  fair  as  'neath  the  Barmecides. 


NORTH  and  West  and  South  up-breaking ! 
Thrones  are  shattering,  Empires  quaking ; 
Fly  thou  to  the  untroubled  East, 
There  the  patriarchs'  air  to  taste ! 
What  with  love  and  wine  and  song 
Chiser's  fount  will  make  thee  young. 

There,  'mid  things  pure  and  just  and  true, 

The  race  of  man  I  would  pursue 

Back  to  the  well-head  primitive, 

Where  still  from  God  did  they  receive 

Heavenly  lore  in  earthly  speech, 

Nor  beat  the  brain  to  pass  their  reach. 

Where  ancestors  were  held  in  awe, 
Each  alien  worship  banned  by  law; 
In  nonage-bounds  I  am  gladly  caught — 
Broad  faith  be  mine  and  narrow  thought ; 


As  when  the  word  held  sway,  and  stirred 
Because  it  was  a  spoken  word. 

Where  shepherds  haunt  would  I  be  seen, 

And  rest  me  in  oases  green; 

When  with  the  caravan  I  fare, 

Shawl,  coffee,  musk,  my  chapman's  ware, 

No  pathway  would  I  leave  untraced 

To  the  city  from  the  waste. 

And  up  and  down  the  rough  rock  ways 
My  comfort,  Hafiz,  be  thy  lays, 
When  the  guide  enchantingly, 
From  his  mule-back  seat  on  high, 
Sings,  to  rouse  the  stars,  or  scare 
The  lurking  robber  in  his  lair. 

In  bath  or  inn  my  thought  would  be, 
Holy  Hafiz,  still  of  thee; 
Or  when  the  veil  a  sweetheart  lifts 
From  amber  locks  in  odorous  drifts ; 
Ay,  whispered  loves  of  poet  fire 
Even  the  Houris  to  desire ! 

Would  you  envy  him  for  this, 
Or  bring  despite  upon  his  bliss, 
Know  that  words  of  poets  rise 
To  the  gate  of  Paradise, 
Hover  round,  knock  light,  implore 
Heavenly  life  for  evermore.* 

*  Written  24th  December  1814. 



FROM  a  cornelian  Talisman 

Glad  prosperous  days  the  faithful  gain  ; 

If  on  an  onyx  ground  it  rest 

To  lips  devout  let  it  be  pressed! 

All  that  is  ill  away  'twill  chase, 

It  shields  you  and  it  shields  the  place ; 

If  the  engraven  word  proclaim 

With  pure  intention  Allah's  name, 

To  love  and  deed  it  will  inflame ; 

And  women,  more  than  others  can, 

Will  vantage  by  the  Talisman. 

Like  symbols,  but  on  paper  set 
By  pen-craft,  form  the  Amulet ; 
No  narrow  limit  here  will  hem 
The  scribe  as  with  the  graven  gem, 
And  pious  souls  may  thus  rejoice 
In  longer  verses  of  their  choice ; 
Such  papers  round  the  neck  men  wear 
Devoutly  as  a  scapular. 

Behind  the  Inscription  no  hid  meanings  lie ; 
It  is  itself — the  sentence  tells  you  all ; 
And  this  once  read  will  straightway  make  you  call 
With  glad  assent—"  Tis  I  that  say  it,  I." 


Abraxas  I  will  seldom  bring! 
Here  chiefly  the  distorted  thought 
Some  gloomy  madness  has  begot 
Would  pass  for  the  divinest  thing. 
If  things  absurd  I  speak,  believe 
Tis  an  Abraxas  that  I  give. 

A  Signet-ring's  design  craves  studious  care  ; 
The  highest  sense  in  narrowest  room  must  fit  ; 
Yet  if  you  plant  a  true  idea  there, 
Graven  stands  the  word  and  scarce  you  think 
of  it.* 


MINE  be  the  saddle  still,  to  ride 
While  you  in  hut  or  tent  abide ! 

And  gay  I  gallop  through  wilds  afar, 
Nought  o'er  my  bonnet  save  the  star. 

The  stars  were  appointed  by  His  voice, 
Your  guides  over  land  and  sea, 

That  the  heart  within  you  may  rejoice 
And  your  glance  still  heavenward  be.t 

*  Written    1st  January  1815.     "Abraxas,"   a   Gnostic   amulet, 
often  exhibiting  brute  and  human  forms  combined. 
t  These  four  lines  are  rersified  from  the  Koran. 




GOD'S  very  own  the  Orient ! 

God's  very  own  the  Occident ! 

The  North  land  and  the  Southern  land 

Rest  in  the  quiet  of  His  hand.* 

Justice  apportioned  to  each  one 
Wills  He  Who  is  the  Just  alone. 
Name  all  His  hundred  names,  and  then 
Be  this  name  lauded  high!     Amen. 

Error  would  hold  me  tangled,  yet 
Thou  knowest  to  free  me  from  the  net. 
Whether  I  act  or  meditate 
Grant  me  a  way  that  shall  be  straight,  t 

If  earthly  things  possess  my  mind 
Through  these  some  higher  gain  I  find; 
Not  blown  abroad  like  dust,  but  driven 
Inward,  the  spirit  mounts  toward  heaven. 

*  Versified  from  the  Koran. 

t  Founded  on  a  passage  of  the  Koran. 


In  every  breath  we  breathe  two  graces  share — 
The  indraught  and  the  outflow  of  the  air; 
That  is  a  toil,  but  this  refreshment  brings ; 
So  marvellous  are  our  life's  comminglings. 
Thank  God  when  thou  dost  feel  His  hand  con- 
And  thank  when  He  releases  Thee  again.* 



THAT  glad  of  heart  the  Arab  should 
Roam  his  wild  spaces  o'er, 

Hath  Allah  for  the  general  good 
Granted  him  graces  four. 

The  turban  first,  a  braver  gear 
Than  crowns  of  Emperors  old ; 

And,  for  his  dwelling  everywhere, 
A  tent  to  raise  or  fold. 

A  sword  that  surelier  can  defend 
Than  crag  or  turret-height, 

A  little  song,  which  maids  attend 
For  wisdom  or  delight. 

*  Founded  on  a  passage  of  the  Gulistan  of  Saadi. 


If  from  her  shawl  my  singing  spell 
Draw  flowers  that  fall  my  way, 

What  is  her  own  she  knows  right  well, 
And  still  is  kind  and  gay. 

With  flowers  and  fruits  the  sense  to  please, 

I  deck  the  board  for  you, 
And  would  you  add  moralities, 

I  give  them  gathered  now.* 



WHAT  is  hard  to  cover?     Fire! 

Flame,  the  monster,  will  betray 

By  night  its  presence,  smoke  by  day. 

Hard  to  hide  is  love's  desire; 

However  hushed  and  close  it  lies, 

Love  will  leap  forth  from  the  eyes. 

Hardest  is  a  song  to  hide; 

Under  bushel  'twill  not  bide; 

Did  the  poet  sing  it  new, 

It  has  pierced  him  through  and  through; 

If  pranked  with  pen,  his  eye  approve  it, 

He  would  have  the  whole  world  love  it, 

Aloud  he  reads  it  joyously 

To  all — to  plague  or  edify,  t 

*  6th  February  1815.  The  first  three  verses  derived  from 
Chardin's  Travels.  Stanza  4,  the  flowers  of  the  shawl  of  the 
beloved  are  transformed  to  poetic  flowers. 

t  Frankfurt,  27th  May  1815. 




SAY,  from  how  many  an  element 
True  song  should  seek  and  suck  its  food, 

Song,  layfolks  listen  to  content, 
And  masters  hear  in  gladdest  mood? 

Love,  past  all  things  of  common  rate, 
Be  this  our  theme  when  we  shall  sing ! 

If  love  the  verse  should  penetrate 
The  sweeter  will  its  music  ring. 

Then  must  the  meeting  glasses  clink, 

While  gleams  the  red  wine  circling  round ! 

For  those  who  love,  for  those  who  drink, 
With  smiles  the  fairest  wreaths  are  wound. 

And  next  the  clash  of  arms  I  name, 

The  trumpet's  blare  must  sound  abroad. 

So  shall  the  hero,  while  in  flame 
Leaps  victory,  know  himself  a  god. 

Last  hate  is  indispensable, 

Ay,  many  a  thing  true  poets  hate; 

Shall  he  who  beauty  loves,  as  well 
Foul  things  and  loathsome  tolerate? 


Primeval  matter — if  the  singer 
But  mix  and  mingle  these,  the  four, 

Like  Hafiz  he,  true  joyance-bringer, 
Shall  quicken  folk  for  evermore.* 



JACK  ADAM  was  a  clod  of  clay 
God  shaped  a  human  creature; 

Yet  from  Earth's  womb  he  brought  away 
Much  dress  in  form  and  feature. 

The  Elohim  breathed  into  his  nose 

The  very  finest  spirit ; 
He  took  a  sneezing  fit,  and  rose 

More  like  a  man  of  merit. 

And  yet  in  brawn  and  brain  and  bone 

He  still  was  half  a  lump,  sir, 
Till  Noah  for  the  simpleton 

Found  his  true  cure — the  bumper. 

Betimes  the  lump  perceived  a  glow, 
Well  wetted  with  the  potion ; 

The  barm  began  to  stir  the  dough 
Which  put  itself  in  motion. 

"July  1814. 


Thus,  Hafiz,  may  thy  singing  sweet 
And  thy  devout  example, 

Lead  us,  while  clinking  glasses  meet, 
Into  our  Maker's  temple.* 



WHEN  the  dark  rain-drL't 

Phoebus  has  wooed, 
Springe th  a  rainbow  swift, 

Rising  bright-hued. 

There  o'er  the  misty  height 

Spans  the  arch  now, 
What  if  the  bow  be  white, 

Yet  'tis  heaven's  bow. 

Greybeard,  with  clouds  in  sight, 
Blithe  shouldst  thou  prove; 

What  if  thy  hair  be  white, 
Yet  shalt  thou  love  It 

*  2 ist  June  1814;  suggested  by  words  on  Hafiz;  first  named 
Dcr  Urvalcr,  and  again  Der  crstt  Mcnsch. 

t  25th  July  1814.  The  white  rainbow  was  seen  by  Goethe  as 
he  drove  from  Weimar. 




WHAT  motley  shows  are  those  that  bind 

The  heavens  with  yonder  height, 
Through  mists  of  morning  ill  defined, 

That  half  defeat  the  sight? 

Are  they  the  Vizier's  tents  displayed, 

Where  his  loved  women  bide? 
Are  they  the  festal  carpets  laid 

For  one  most  dear — his  bride? 

Scarlet  and  white,  mixed,  freckled,  streaked — 

Vision  of  perfect  worth ! 
Hafiz,  how  comes  thy  Shiraz  thus 

To  greet  the  cloudy  North? 

Yes,  neighbour  poppies  spreading  far, 

A  cordial,  various  band, 
As  if  to  scorn  the  god  of  war, 

Kindly  they  robe  the  land. 

So  let  the  sage  who  serves  our  earth 

With  flowers  still  make  it  gay, 
And,  as  this  morn,  the  sun  shine  forth 

To  light  them  on  my  way.* 

*  Another  incident  of  25th  July  1814. 




UPON  the  left  beside  the  rill 

Sits  Cupid  fluting, 
The  fields  to  right  wild  clamours  fill, 

Mars'  trumpet  bruiting; 
To  those  pure  notes  of  soft  accost 

The  ear's  beguiled, 
But  all  the  bloom  of  song  is  lost 

In  uproar  wild; 
Warbles  the  flute  with  liquid  strain, 

While  booms  war's  thunder; 
If  sudden  frenzy  seize  my  brain, 

What  cause  for  wonder? 
Louder  the  flute  notes  on  the  left, 

The  trump  still  brays; 
Distract  I  roam,  of  wits  bereft ; 

Should  this  amaze  ?  * 


LILY  and  rose  by  morn  bedewed 
Are  blooming  in  the  garden  near; 

Soft  with  low-growing  underwood 
The  rocks  climb  upward  to  the  rear; 

*  26th  July  1814  ;  suggested  by  Ilafiz;  the  last  four  lines  were  a 
variant  of  the  preceding  four,  but  were  allowed  by  Goethe  to 
stand  as  above. 

I.    BOOK  OF  THE   SINGER  13 

And,  girdled  with  its  belt  of  trees, 

A  feudal  castle  crowns  the  height 
Where  curves  its  marge  by  soft  degrees, 

Till  with  the  valley  it  unite. 

And  every  air  some  odour  brings 

As  when  love  ached  in  those  old  days, 
Those  dawnings  when  my  psaltery-strings 

Contended  with  the  morning's  rays, 
There  where  from  greenwood  shades  would  start, 

Rounded  and  full,  the  hunters'  chant, 
To  quicken  and  to  fire  the  heart, 

Accordant  to  its  wish  or  want. 

Ever  the  woods  fresh  leaves  unfold ! 

With  these  your  soul  rejoicing  fill; 
Pleasures  that  were  your  own  of  old 

May  be  enjoyed  through  others  still; 
No  man  will  then  complain  of  us 

Care  for  ourselves  was  all  we  had; 
Through  all  life's  process  various 

You  must  have  virtue  to  be  glad. 

And  with  such  winding  of  my  lay, 
Hafiz,  once  more  we  hear  thy  voice ; 

'Tis  meet  in  each  concluded  day 
With  the  rejoicing  to  rejoice.* 

*  Fulda,  26th  July  1814;  the  scene  is  Eisenach,  where  Karl  August 
had  often  hunted. 




FROM  clay  wherein  his  fingers  wrought 
Fair  shapes  the  Greek  may  fashion, 

And  in  the  son  his  hand  begot 
Rejoice  with  rising  passion. 

Our  hands  in  the  Euphrates  stream 

Have  their  delighted  play ; 
The  wandering  mass,  that  fleets  and  flows, 

Yields  as  we  sway  and  stray. 

If  thus  the  soul's  hot  brand  be  cooled 

Then  song  shall  echo  clear ; 
Water,  poet's  pure  hand  ruled, 

Rounds  to  a  crystal  sphere.* 



WHAT  spring  of  healing  has  been  found 

For  man,  where'er  he  be? 
All  with  glad  heart  attend  a  sound 

Shapen  to  harmony. 

*  Compare  from  Legends  (Balladen) : — 

"  Sel'gem  Herzen  frommen  Hanclen 
Ballt  sich  die  bewegte  Wellen 
Herrlich  zu  Krystallner  Kugel." 

I.    BOOK  OF  THE  SINGER  15 

Hence  with  whate'er  embroils  your  way ! 

Nor  gloom-enshrouded  strive; 
Before  he  sing,  before  he  stay, 

The  poet  first  must  live. 

So  may  the  brazen  clang  of  life 
Reverberate  through  the  soul ; 

The  poet's  heart  though  torn  by  strife 
He  will  himself  make  whole.* 


SONG  is  a  certain  arrogance, 
Let  none  find  fault  with  me ! 

But  bravely  let  the  warm  blood  dance 
Be  gay  as  I  and  free. 

If  bitter  every  hour's  distress 

Upon  my  palate  grew, 
I  should  be  modest,  and  no  less 

Nay,  rather  more  than  you. 

For  modesty  charms  everyone 

In  budding  maidenhood; 
Girls  would  be  gently  wooed  and  won 

And  fly  before  the  rude. 

*23rd  December  1814. 


And  with  a  wise  man  modesty 
Befits — some  sage  who  might 

Of  time  and  of  eternity 
Teach  me  the  lore  aright. 

Song  is  a  certain  arrogance ! 

I  ply  my  craft  alone ; 
Friends,  women,  of  the  dancing  blood 

Come  in,  come  every  one ! 

You  cowl-less  shaveling !  zealous  breath 
Waste  not  on  me !    Your  flow 

Of  speech  might  do  my  soul  to  death, 
But  make  me  modest — No ! 

Your  vacuous  phrases  make  me  run ; 

Such  stuff  since  many  a  day, 
Shoe-leather  that  I  trod  upon, 

For  me  was  worn  away. 

When  round  the  poet's  mill-wheel  turns, 
Stop  not  his  whirl  of  rhymes; 

For  who  once  understands  us  learns 
To  pardon  us  betimes.* 

26th  July  1814,  on  the  way  from  Eiscrach  to  Fulda. 

I.    BOOK  OF  THE  SINGER  17 



DUST  is  an  element  from  which 

Your  art  a  use  can  wring, 
Hafiz,  when  to  extol  your  Love 

Some  dainty  song  you  sing. 

For  more  to  be  preferred  is  dust 

That  on  her  threshold  lights, 
Than  carpet  on  whose  gold-wrought  flowers 

Kneel  Mahmud's  favourites. 

If  from  her  door  whirl  clouds  of  dust, 
Driven  by  some  wind  that  blows, 

Sweeter  it  breathes  to  you  than  musk, 
Or  attar  of  the  rose. 

Dust !  long  I  was  deprived  of  it 

In  the  mist-shrouded  North, 
But  in  the  glowing  South  for  me 

There  surely  was  no  dearth. 

Loved  doors,  upon  your  hinges  long 

Sounded  no  sweet  recoil ! 
Come,  heal  me,  ye  tempestuous  rains, 

And  scent  of  breathing  soil ! 


For  now  if  all  the  thunders  roll, 
Wide  heaven  with  leven  glow, 

The  wind's  wild  dust,  rain-saturate, 
Will  fall  to  earth  below. 

Straightway  life  leaps;  a  sacred  force 
And  secret  strives  in  birth; 

Fresh  mists  exhale,  green  things  arise, 
O'er  all  the  bounds  of  earth.* 


OVER  the  dust  comes  a  shadow  black,  the  beloved's 

Dust  I  made  me  for  her,  but  the  shadow  passed 

o'er  me  away.t 

An  image  may  I  not  devise, 

If  such  my  pleasure  be? 
God  gives  an  image  of  our  life 

In  every  midge  we  see. 

An  image  may  I  not  devise, 

If  such  my  pleasure  be? 
For  imaged  in  my  true  love's  eyes 

God  gives  Himself  to  me. 

*  2Qth  July  1814  :  heavy  rainfall  in  the  night, 
t  Inserted  after  Goethe's  death  in  1837  ;  derived  from  the  Diran 
of  Sultan  Selim  I, 

I.    BOOK  OF  THE  SINGER  19 



TELL  it  the  wise  alone,  for  when 
Will  the  crowd  cease  from  mockery ! 

Him  would  I  laud  of  living  men 
Who  longs  a  fiery  death  to  die. 

In  coolness  of  those  nights  of  love 
Which  thee  begat,  bade  thee  beget, 

Strange  promptings  wake  in  thee  and  move, 
While  the  calm  taper  glimmers  yet. 

No  more  in  darkness  canst  thou  rest, 

Waited  upon  by  shadows  blind, 
A  new  desire  has  thee  possessed 

For  procreant  joys  of  loftier  kind. 

Distance  can  hinder  not  thy  flight ; 

Exiled,  thou  seekest  a  point  illumed; 
And,  last,  enamoured  of  the  light, 

A  moth  art  in  the  flame  consumed. 

And  while  thou  spurnest  at  the  best, 
Whose  word  is  "  Die  and  be  new-born!  " 

Thou  bidest  but  a  cloudy  guest 

Upon  an  earth  that  knows  not  morn.* 

*  Wiesbaden,  3151  July  1814. 



A  CANE  pushed  up  that  worlds  might  know 

What  sweetness  is  indeed! 
Ah,  would  that  gracious  things  might  flow 

From  this,  my  writing-reed !  * 

*  Suggested  by  Hafiz  or  Saadi. 

II.    BOOK  OF  HAFIZ  21 



The  word  as  bride,  the  spirit  as  groom, 

So  let  the  pair  be  named  ! 
Their  wedlock's  known  to  him,  by  whom 

Hafiz  hath  been  acclaimed.* 



Thy  people,  the  illustrious, 
Surnamed  thee  Hafiz. 


I  reply, 

Honouring  thy  question — it  was  thus: 
Because  in  happy  memory 
The  Koran's  sacred  heritage 
I  hold  unaltered,  page  by  page, 
And  thereby  guide  me  without  blame, 
So  that  each  day's  accustomed  ill 
Touches  not  me,  nor  those  who  still 
Treasure,  as  well  befits  indeed, 

*  Suggested  by  Hafiz,  and  originally  published  as  a  motto  for  the 
whole  of  the  "West-Eastern  Divan." 


The  Prophet's  word,  the  Prophet's  seed,— 
For  such  cause  they  have  given  the  name. 


Whence,  Hafiz,  as  I  dare  suppose, 
A  place  beside  thee  I  have  won  ; 
For  when  men's  thoughts  together  run 
Between  the  men  a  likeness  grows. 
Perfect  the  likeness  is  with  us ; 
For  of  our  holy  Books  I  have  ta'en 
The  glorious  form  on  heart  and  brain, 
As  on  that  Kerchief  marvellous 
The  Master's  image  was  impressed ; 
So  quickened  is  my  quiet  breast, 
Spite  of  negation,  spoil  and  scathe, 
With  the  bright  image  of  the  faith.* 


BUT  do  you  know  for  whom  the  demons  spy 
In  the  wild  waste  'twixt  crag  and  bastion  high, 
Watching  the  moment  when  'tis  possible 
To  clutch  their  prey  and  draw  it  down  to  Hell? 
The  liar  and  the  wretched  miscreant. 

The  poet,  then,  why  shuns  he  not  the  haunt 
Of  folk  the  like  of  these?     Can  this  be  well? 

*  26th  June  1814.     "  Hafiz,"  one  who  knows  by  heart,  i.e. ,  the 

II.    BOOK  OF  HAFIZ  23 

Knows  he,  indeed,  with  whom  he  lives  and  moves 
He  all  whose  actions  madness  sways?     He  loves 
With  wayward  passion,  and  its  boundless  stress 
Drives  him  afar  into  the  wilderness. 
His  tuneful  plaints  are  written  in  the  sand, 
And  by  the  wind  are  swiftly  chased  away; 
He  comprehends  not  that  which  he  may  say, 
Nor  to  the  word  he  says  will  dare  to  stand. 

And  yet  his  song — men  still  allow  its  rule 
Yea,  though  the  Koran  it  should  flout.    But  ye, 
Skilled  in  the  law,  ye  men  of  piety, 
Wise,  learned,  be  ye  masters  of  the  school, 
For  each  true  Mussulman,  of  duty  strict. 

Hafiz,  in  chief,  has  many  a  conscience  pricked, 
Mirza  has  plunged  the  soul  in  questionings  vain. 
Say  ye  what  men  should  do,  and  where  refrain.* 


HAFIZ,  the  poet,  in  his  art  expresses 
Truth  wrought  and  rounded,  indestructible; 
Yet  here  and  there  are  certain  little  matters 
Which  overpass  the  limits  of  the  law. 
Wouldst  thou  in  safety  walk,  so  must  thou  know 
To  part  snake's  venom  from  its  antidote. 
Yet  to  the  pure  desire  for  noble  action 

*  loth  March  1815  ;  derived  in  part  from  the  Koran. 


Thy  heart  to  abandon  with  a  joyous  courage, 
And  from  such  things  as  lead  to  pains  eternal 
With  sense  considerate  to  preserve  thyself, 
This  sure  is  best,  that  error  there  be  none. 
So  it  is  written  by  the  poor  Ebusund. 
God  in  His  mercy  pardon  all  his  sins !  * 



SAINTLY  Ebusund,  thou  hast  struck  the  mark! 

Such  Saint  a  poet  well  might  wish  to  be; 

Because  precisely  these  same  little  matters 

Which  overpass  the  limits  of  the  law, 

These  are  the  freehold,  wherein  he,  presumptuous, 

And  joyous  even  'mid  cares,  hath  his  concern, 

Snake's  venom  and  the  antidote  for  him 

Must  seem  alike,  one  even  as  the  other. 

This  will  not  slay  nor  will  the  other  heal, 

For  the  true  life  is  innocence  perpetual 

In  action,  which  so  manifests  itself 

That,  save  perchance  itself,  it  hurteth  none. 

And  thus  in  eld  the  poet  yet  may  hope 

The  Houris  will  receive  him  favourably, 

Transfigured  to  a  youth  in  Paradise, 

Saintly  Ebusund,  thou  hast  struck  the  mark !  t 

*  July  1814.     "  Fetwa,"  judicial  sentence.     The  source  is  found 
in  Hammer's  introduction  to  Hafiz. 
t  December  1814. 

II.    BOOK  OF  HAFIZ  25 


So  Misri's  poems  the  Mufti  read,  each  one 
In  ordered  sequence,  till  he  reached  the  last; 
Whereon  deliberate  in  the  flames  he  cast 
The  scribe's  fair  labours,  and  the  book  was  gone. 

"  So  burn  all  those  " — the  high  Judge  his  voice 

uplifts — 

"  Of  faith  and  speech  like  Misri's;  only  he 
Shall  suffer  not  the  fiery  penalty; 
To  every  poet  hath  Allah  given  gifts; 
Were  they  misused  in  sinful  paths  he  trod, 
Let  him  see  to  it  and  come  to  terms  with  God!  "  * 



THOU  canst  not  end,  and  that  doth  make  thee 


Thou  never  dost  begin — that  is  thy  fate. 
Thy  song  wheels  round  as  does  the  starry  frame, 
End  and  beginning  evermore  the  same, 
And  what  the  middle  brings  we  clearly  see 
Is  what  the  opening  was,  the  end  shall  be. 

*  From  Toderine  on  the  Literature  of  the  Turks  ;  probably  about 
January  1815. 


Thou  art  of  joys  a  true  poetic  fount, 

Wave  welling  after  wave  from  thee  past  count. 

A  mouth  that  never  tires  of  kisses, 

A  bosom-song  that  sweetly  goes, 

A  throat  afret  for  winecup  blisses, 

A  generous  heart  that  overflows. 

Ah !  let  the  whole  world  slide  and  sink, 
Hafiz,  with  thee  alone  the  strife 
Of  song  I  seek.     Twin-brothers  we, 
Our  pain,  our  pleasure  common  be ! 
To  love  like  thee,  like  thee  to  drink, 
Shall  be  my  pride,  shall  be  my  life. 

Now  sound  forth  Song  with  thy  own  proper  fire, 
Song  of  the  older,  of  the  newer  choir.* 



IN  your  rhymes'  mode  myself  I  hope  to  find, 
The  sound  reiterated  should  please  me  well ; 
The  idea  first,  then  language  I  shall  find ; 
No  echoing  clang  shall  be  twice  audible. 
Unless  some  special  meaning  be  designed, 
As  you  contrive,  who  bear  o'er  all  the  bell ! 

*  Probably  loth  November  1814. 

II.    BOOK   OF   HAFIZ  27 

For  as  a  spark,  enkindling  in  its  kind, 

The  imperial  city,  while  the  fierce  flames  swell, 

Which  glow  self-nourished,  fanned  by  their  own 


Itself  extinct,  mounts  where  the  calm  stars  dwell, 
So  the  eternal  flame  doth  wind  and  dart 
From  thee  to  rouse  anew  a  German  heart. 

Truly  the  measured  cadence  has  a  charm  ; 
There  in  the  craftsman's  skill  its  joy  has  sought; 
And  yet  how  swift  the  indignant  soul's  alarm 
At  hollow  masks,  bloodless  and  void  of  thought ; 
Even  wit  itself  scarce  seems  with  gladness  fraught 
Unless  to  some  new  form  its  thought  be  led 
Making  an  end  of  form  outworn  and  dead.* 



HAFIZ,  thy  equal  e'er  to  be 

Were  dream  insane! 
A  bark  drives  onward  fast  and  free 

O'er  the  tossed  main; 
She  feels  her  sail  swell  joyously, 

Rides  proud  and  bold  ; 
Does  Ocean  will  to  rend  her,  she 

Rots  as  she's  rolled. 

*  7th  December   1814 ;   a  partial   reproduction  of  the   Ghazel 


In  songs,  how  light,  how  swift,  for  thee 

Cool  waters  flow ; 
They  leap  in  waves  of  fire,  but  me 

The  o'ermastering  glow 
Engulphs.     Yet  bring  I  one  proud  plea, 

Bold,  unreproved — 
I  in  a  sun-bright  land,  like  thee 

Have  lived  and  loved.* 



"  THE  mystical  tongue  "  they  have  named  you, 

O  Hafiz,  our  saint,  nor  to  one 
Of  these  scholars  so  learned  in  word-lore 

The  meaning  of  "  mystic  "  is  known. 

A  "  mystic  " — because  in  your  pages 

Their  silliest  notions  they  hail, 
And  their  own  sorry  vintage  the  tapsters 

In  your  name,  as  true  Hafiz,  retail. 

Pure  mystic  you  are,  and  with  reason, 
For  your  meaning  they  never  can  hit, 

You,  while  nowise  the  pious  the  blessed! 
A  fact  they  refuse  to  admit,  t 

*  22nd  December  1815  ;  inserted  after  Goethe's  death,  in  1837, 
the  "  sun-bright  land,"  Italy. 

fioth  December  1814  ;  suggested  by  Ilammci's  Hafiz. 

II.    BOOK  OF  HAFIZ  29 



AND  yet  they  are  right  whom  I  have  shent : 
For  of  itself  'tis  evident 
One  simple  sense  a  word  has  not. 
A  word's  a  fan !  a  glance  is  shot 
Between  the  sticks  from  eyes  divine; 
The  fan's  a  veil,  no  more,  whose  fine 
Substance  may  keep  the  face  in  shade, 
But  cannot  hide  from  me  the  maid, 
Since  her  prime  loveliness,  the  eyes, 
Flash  into  mine  some  swift  surprise.* 



WHAT  all  men  sigh  for  you  have  known, 
And  thoroughly  scanned,  for  all, 

Even  from  the  dust  up  to  the  throne, 
Desire  holds  fast  in  thrall. 

What  woe  it  works,  what  wear  betimes! 

Who  would  oppose  its  stress? 
If  this  man  break  his  neck,  that  climbs 

Adventurous  none  the  less. 

*  Originally  (1815)  named  ';  Widerruf." 


Your  pardon,  Master,  bold  thoughts  stir 

Oft,  as  you  know,  in  me, 
When  mine  eyes  she  draws  after  her— 

The  wandering  cypress- tree. 

True  as  root-fibrils  glides  her  foot, 

Wooing  the  ground  beneath, 
Like  light  cloud  melting,  her  salute, 

Like  orient  airs  her  breath. 

Sweet  presage  thrills  through  all  our  blood 

When  rippled  locks  unbind, 
Brown  opulence  of  a  coiling  flood, 

And  sibilant  to  the  wind. 

Then  the  clear  brow  gleams  to  the  view, 
Your  heart  perturbed  to  smoothe, 

You  hear  a  song,  all  glad  and  true, 
The  spirit  to  rock  and  soothe. 

And  when  the  singing  lips  you  see 

In  gracious  wise  astir, 
They  make  you  on  the  instant  free 

To  gyve  your  prisoner. 

The  breath  pants  forth  without  repeal, 

Soul  to  soul  taking  flight, 
While  through  your  bliss  sweet  odours  steal 

Clouds  that  elude  the  sight. 

II.    BOOK  OF  HAFIZ  31 

But  when  the  strong  flame  lustiest  burns, 

You  grasp  the  goblet  fair; 
He  runs,  he  comes,  with  quick  returns, 

Once,  twice,  the  cupbearer. 

Sparkles  his  eye,  his  heart  beats  swift, 

He  hopes  to  learn  your  lore, 
Then  when  the  wine  your  spirit  doth  lift 

To  watch  your  thought  upsoar. 

For  him  the  world's  vast  space  lies  shown, 

His  heart  is  ordered  joy, 
His  breast  swells,  darkens  the  lip's  down, 

No  more  is  he  a  boy ! 

And  when  no  secret  hides  from  you 
That  heart  and  world  can  hold, 

The  sage  you  beckon,  kind  and  true, 
The  meanings  to  unfold. 

And  lest  the  Prince  no  grace  accord, 
Whose  throne's  our  shield  and  spear, 

You  give  the  Shah  some  gracious  word, 
And  give  to  the  Vizier. 

All  this  you  know  and  sing  to-day, 

Next  morn  like  songs  you  find, 
And  guide  us  friend-like  on  our  way 

Through  life,  the  rough,  the  kind.* 

*  September    1818.     Line    12,    "wandering    cypress-tree,"    the 
beloved,  so  described  by  the  Eastern  poets. 

III.    BOOK  OF  LOVE  33 



Ah  !  say  to  me 

For  what  my  whole  heart  sighs  ! 

My  heart's  with  thee  ; 
Hold  it  a  thing  of  price  !  * 


LISTEN,  and  in  memory  fix 

Pairs  of  lovers,  six  and  six! 

Description  kindles,  love  doth  fan  the  flames — 

Rustan  and  Rodavoo  their  names. 

Lovers  unknown,  who  yet  are  nigh, — 

Jussuf,  Zuleika,  is  our  cry. 

Love  for  love's  sake,  with  nought  to  win, — 

Such  love  knew  Ferhad  and  Schirin. 

Each  for  the  other,  whole  and  sole, — 

Medschnun  and  Leila  touched  that  goal. 

*  The  suggestion  is  from  Hafiz. 


Old  eyes  made  young  with  passion's  ray,— 
So  Dschemil  looked  on  Boteinah. 
Sweet  wile  and  whim  on  loving  set, — 
Solomon  and  the  throned  brunette. 
To  these  hast  thou  given  earnest  heed, 
So  shall  thy  love  be  established.* 


YES,  love  is  high  desert !     In  vain 

A  man  might  look  for  fairer  gain. 

Equal,  though  wealth  nor  power  thy  fee, 

With  mightiest  heroes  mayst  thou  be. 

Men  laud  the  prophets,  but  as  well 

Of  Wamik  and  of  Asra  tell; 

Nay,  need  not  tell — the  names  suffice, 

Such  names  must  all  men  recognize. 

What  deeds  they  wrought,  what  ways  they  moved, 

No  man  doth  know;  but  that  they  loved 

We  know.     Enough  that  word  to  speak, 

If  one  for  Wamik  and  for  Asra  seek.t 

*  Not  later  than  May  1815.  In  the  German  lines  4,  6,  8,  10,  12, 
14  merely  consist  of  the  proper  names  ;  to  find  rhymes  in  English  is 
hardly  possible. 

t  The  Persian  romance  of  Wamik  and  Asra  was  lost  through  the 
destructive  zeal  of  Mohammedan  fanaticism. 

III.    BOOK  OF  LOVE  35 


BOOK  of  books  most  wonderful 

Is  sure  the  book  of  Love; 

Heedf ully  I  have  read  it  through ; 

Of  joys  some  scanty  leaves, 

Whole  sheets  writ  o'er  with  pain ; 

Separation  forms  a  section, 

Reunion  a  little  chapter, 

And  that  a  fragment.    Troubles  run  to  volumes, 

Drawn  out  with  due  elucidations, 

Endless  and  measureless. 

O  Nisami! — yet  at  last 

It  was  the  right  way  thou  didst  find; 

The  insoluble,  ah!  who  can  solve  it? 

Lovers,  when  heart  once  more  meets  heart.* 


YES,  these  the  eyes,  yes,  these  the  lips, 
That  gazed  in  mine,  that  gave  the  kiss, 
The  fair  round  body,  slender  hips, 
As  formed  for  Paradise's  bliss. 

*  Suggested  by  verses  of  the  Turkish  poet  Nischani.     After  23rd 
December  1815. 


Was  she  here?     Whither  flown  from  sight? 
Yes  she  was  here,  that  gift  she  gave, 
Gave  me  herself  in  act  of  flight, 
And  made  my  life  her  fettered  slave.* 



TRAMMELLED  in  curls  have  I  been  too, 

Unwilling  to  be  freed; 
My  Hafiz,  for  your  friend  and  you 

Like  fortune  was  decreed. 

But  now  great  drifts  of  hair  they  plight, 

Unmeasured  tresses  tower, 
Our  warriors  helmed  advance  to  fight ; 

Ah !  we  have  felt  their  power. 

Yet  such  constraint  of  power  he  shuns 
Whose  thought  is  wise  and  ware, 

Alarmed  by  ponderous  chains,  he  runs 
Into  the  slender  snare. 



CURLS  overrunning  such  a  dear,  round  head ! 
And  may  I,  in  this  wealth  of  rippled  hair, 

*  2ist  July  1818. 

III.    BOOK  OF  LOVE  37 

Let  my  full  hands  but  wander  here  and  there, 
Life  from  the  heart's  deep  fount  will  leap  and 


And  if  my  lips  her  brow,  eyes,  mouth  have  found, 
I  am  made  whole,  though  every  kiss  a  wound. 
The  five-toothed  comb,  where  should  it  stop  or 


Back  to  the  curls  already  'tis  away! 
Nor  does  the  ear  forbid  the  dallying  sport ; 
Mere  flesh  and  blood  never  so  delicately 
Could  yield  to  frolic  or  soft  touches  court ! 
Yet  toying  with  the  little  head  we  sigh, 
Amid  such  opulence  of  rippled  hair 
For  ever  to  and  fro  to  wander  there. 
Thus,  Hafiz,  you  long  since  were  wont  to  do, 
We  now  the  sweet  observances  renew.* 



SHOULD  I  of  the  emeralds  speak 
Which  daintily  your  finger  shows? 

A  word  at  times  we  needs  must  seek, 
Tis  better  oft  the  lips  to  close. 

Well,  then,  I  call  the  colour  green, 
Say  'tis  enlivening  to  the  eye, 

But  not  a  word  must  slip  between 
Of  smart  and  scar  to  dread  hardby. 

*  Line  7,  "  five-toothed  comb,"  the  hand. 


Why  has  your  wonted  might  prevailed? 

I  care  not ;  read  the  whole  truth  thus  :— 
"  Quickening  as  is  the  emerald, 

So  is  the  wearer  dangerous."  * 


SWEET  love !  in  cumbrous  volume  lie 

Constrained,  alas!  my  songs  that  darted 
Through  clearest  region  of  the  sky, 

Hither,  thither,  free,  light-hearted. 
Time  doth  all  things  ruinate, 

These  alone  will  ne'er  remove 
Every  line  shall  hold  its  state 

Deathless  as  immortal  love. 


WHY  these  slow  hours  that  do  me  wrong? 
Life  is  short,  the  day  is  long. 
And  ever  sighs  my  heart  for  flight, 
If  heavenward  scarce  I  know  aright ; 
But  forth  it  would,  away,  away, 
Some  flight  beyond  itself  to  essay. 
If  flown  to  her  beloved  breast, 
Unconscious  there  in  heaven  its  rest  ; 

*  30th  September  1815. 

III.     BOOK  OF   LOVE  39 

Life's  eddyings  catch  it  in  their  race 
Although  it  cling  to  one  sole  place; 
Whate'er  it  lose,  whatever  intend, 
Its  own  dupe  proven  in  the  end.* 


MIDNIGHT!    I  wept  and  sobbed, 
Being  bereft  of  thee. 
Then  came  phantoms  of  night, 
And  I  was  shamed: 
"  Phantoms  of  night/'  said  I, 
"  Sobbing  and  weeping  thus 
You  find  me,  who  until  now 
Slept  as  you  glided  by. 
Precious  things  do  I  lack, 
Deem  not  the  worse  of  me, 
Whom  you  erewhile  named  wise; 
Grievous  ill  hath  befallen!  " — 
And  the  phantoms  of  night, 
Pulling  the  longest  of  faces, 
By  me  stalked, 
If  I  were  wise  or  a  fool 
Utterly  unconcerned,  t 

*  22nd  July  1818. 

t  Eisenach,  24th  May  1814  ;  suggestions  from  Hafiz. 




"  How  widely  from  the  mark  you  have  flown 
To  think  that  love  had  made  the  girl  your  own ! 
Such  conquest  for  my  part  could  hardly  please; 
It  seems  she's  an  adept  in  flatteries." 


Enough !     I  have  her,  and  the  rest  let  shift ! 
Yet  for  excuse  may  this  be  said — 
Love  is  at  best  a  free-will  gift, 
Homage  in  flattery  is  paid.* 



0  BUT  how  blest  was  I ! 

1  walked  the  country  ways, 
Where  Hudhud  ran  along  the  path; 
Shells  of  the  ancient  sea 

I  sought  in  stones,  shells  turned  to  stone ; 
Hudhud  with  stately  pace, 
Spreading  abroad  her  crown, 
Flaunted  with  drollest  air; 

*  Not  earlier  than  24th  May  1815. 

III.    BOOK  OF  LOVE  41 

It  was  life's  raillery, 

That  mocked  at  death. 

"  Hudhud,"  said  I,  "  in  truth 

Thou  art  a  beauteous  bird! 

Haste  then,  my  hoopoe,  haste 

To  greet  my  well-beloved, 

Tell  her  that  I  am  hers 

For  evermore ! 

Thy  part  it  also  was 

Twixt  Solomon 

And  her  on  Sheba's  throne 

Long  since  to  play  the  go-between!  "  * 


HUDHUD  spake:  "  One  glance  confessed 

All  her  inmost  heart  to  me. 
Now,  as  ever,  I  am  blest 

Because  of  your  felicity. 
Love  on !     In  lonely  midnight  hour? 

See  written  in  the  stars  above 
How,  aided  by  the  eternal  Powers, 

Resplendent  ever  stands  your  love!  "  t 
Hudhud,  with  a  roguish  look, 

Charming  from  her  leafy  haunt, 
Sits  nested  in  the  palm-tree  nook 

And  is  ever  vigilant. 

Frankfurt,  27th  May  1815.       f  First  inserted  posthumously. 


Fair  and  precious  is  the  gift, 
Happily  the  wish  was  guessed; 
Was  the  offering  duly  bless'd? 

Such  assurance  still  I  miss. 

Say,  should  that  not  follow  after? 
Modest  he,  nor  snatched  it;  now, 
What  if  she  herself  allow! 

Hudhud  go  and  tell  her  this !  * 


'  You  perish  and  remain  so  kind, 
Waste,  and  your  sweet  song  knows  no  stay!  " 


Love  wrought  on  me  with  evil  mind ! 
That  in  good  truth  I  well  may  say; 
I  sing  indeed  with  heavy  heart. 
But  see  these  tapers — 'tis  their  part 
To  shine  even  while  they  waste  away.t 

*  The  subject  is  a  comb  of  Marianne  von  Willemar ;  posthumously 

f  Frankfurt,  2;th  May  1815  ;  suggestions  from  Hafiz. 

III.    BOOK  OF  LOVE  43 

Love's  anguish  sought  a  place  apart, 
Where  all  was  desolate,  wild  and  rude; 

He  found  betimes  my  empty  heart, 
And  nested  in  the  solitude.* 



WHO  can  bid  the  bird  cease  singing 
O'er  the  field  when  the  blossom  peers? 

Who  can  stay  the  sheep  from  wringing 
While  the  shepherd  plies  his  shears? 

Is  my  bearing  so  unruly 

When  they  twist  and  twirl  my  wool? 
No !  the  shearer's  tousling  truly 

Compels  the  plunge  or  pull. 

And  my  song  shall  it  cease  for  chiding, 
As  it  mounts  the  heaven  so  high, 

To  the  clouds  aloft  confiding 
How  sweet  is  her  witchery?  t 

*  Rehandling  from  Hafiz. 

t  Wiesbaden,  3151  August  1814  ;  suggested  by  Hafiz. 




Ax  my  Love's  glances  signalling 
Folk  stand  in  dumb  surprise; 

But  I,  love's  scholar,  read  right  well 
The  meanings  in  her  eyes. 

Thus  runs  the  sense :  this  man  I  love 
Not  that,  nor  who  stands  yonder; 

Quit  then,  my  worthy  masters  all, 
Your  hankering  and  wonder. 

Yes:  round  the  circle  sweep  her  eyes 
With  unimagined  power, 

Only  to  tell  him  it  draws  near, 
Love's  sweet,  expected  hour.* 



"  ANECDOTE-MONGERS  diligent 
Are  we,  and  eager  to  discover 

Who  your  Beloved  is,  and  if 

You're  plagued  with  many  a  rival  lover. 

*  Same  date  as  last ;  suggested  by  Hafiz. 

III.    BOOK  OF  LOVE  45 

For  that  your  heart  is  gone  we  see, — 
Congratulations,  pray,  receive — 

But  that  your  Love  makes  like  return 
We  cannot,  be  it  confessed,  believe/* 

Unhindered,  worthy  gentlemen, 
Seek  her;  yet  hear  a  word,  but  one — 

You  tremble  when  she  stands  anear, 
Caress  her  image  when  she  is  gone. 

Knew  you  but  how  Schehab-eddin 

On  Arafat  laid  his  robe  aside, 
No  man  whose  spirit  and  deed  are  kin 

To  his  would  you  as  fool  deride. 

If  by  thine  Emperor's  throne,  or  where 
The  Well-beloved  holds  her  state, 

Thy  name  were  ever  told  aloud, 
No  other  guerdon  were  as  great. 

Hence  grief  supreme  it  was  what  time 
The  dying  Medschnun  spake  the  word 

That  before  Leila  from  that  hour 

His  name  should  nevermore  be  heard.* 

*  Not  later  than  3Oth  May  1815.  Burdach  says  that  the  poem 
has  reference  to  Maria  Ludvoika,  Empress  of  Austria.  May  it  not 
also  have  a  secondary  meaning,  and  the  poets  Beloved  be  Truth  or 
the  Ideal  ?  See  Loepers  note. 

IV.    BOOK  OF  REFLECTIONS         47 



HEAR  counsel  rung  from  the  lyric  chord 
Which  serves  not  save  you  bring  the  faculty ; 
Scorn  is  the  meed  of  the  happiest  word, 
If  the  hearer's  ear  be  set  awry. 

What  rings  from  the  lyre?     This,  clear  and  wide, 
Not  the  best  is  she  who  is  fairest  bride; 
Yet  we  count  you  not  one  of  our  guild,  until 
On  the  Fairest  and  Best  you  have  set  your  will.* 


FIVE  things  that  bring  not  forth  yet  other  five: 
This  lesson  with  an  open  ear  receive ! 
The  flower  of  friendship  no  proud  heart  can  raise; 
A  base  companion  learns  not  courteous  ways; 

*  July  1814  ;  the  first  two  lines  from  Hafiz. 


A  villain  ne'er  will  come  to  high  estate ; 
No  envious  man  pities  the  unfortunate ; 
For  truth  and  faith  a  liar  hopes  in  vain. 
Hold  fast  this  rede ;  let  no  man  filch  thy  gain !  * 


WHAT  makes  time  fly? 

A  task  to  ply! 
What  brings  it  to  a  weary  stand? 

Idle  head  and  idle  hand ! 
What  runs  up  scores  to  pay? 

To  suffer  and  delay ! 
What  brings  grist  to  the  mill? 

Not  to  puzzle  the  will ! 
What  makes  a  respectful  beholder? 

Hitting  straight  from  the  shoulder !  t 


LOVELY,  a  maiden's  glance  that  speeds  a  sign, 
The  drinker's  glance  before  he  sips  the  wine, 

*  1 5th  December  1814  ;  from  Silvestre  de  Sacy's  translation  from 
the  Pend  Nameh  of  F'erid-ed-din  Attar, 
t  Or  more  literally  : — 

What  wins  men's  reverence  ? 

l6th  December  1814. 

IV.    BOOK  OF  REFLECTIONS         49 

Greeting  of  lord  who  waives  authority, 
Sunshine  in  autumn  playing  over  thee. 
Lovelier  than  these,  keep  still  before  thine  eyes 
The  needy  hand  for  slender  ministries 
Gracefully  urgent,  and  what  thou  dost  give 
With  grace  of  gratitude  prompt  to  receive. 
Fair  glance !  fair  greeting !  speech  in  mute  essay ! 
Observe  it  right  and  thou  wilt  give  alway!  * 

IN  the  Pend-Nameh  stands  a  rede, 

Writ  from  the  heart  thy  heart  to  prove : 
To  whom  thou  givest  thyself  indeed, 

Him  as  thine  own  self  thou  wilt  love. 
Reach  thy  glad  doit  to  him  or  her, 

Heap  not  a  golden  legacy! 
Haste,  and  with  cheerful  spirit  prefer 

The  instant  hour  to  memory !  t 


BY  the  forge  of  a  smith  do  you  chance  to  ride, 
You  know  not  when  he  may  shoe  your  mare  ; 
Do  you  see  in  the  fields  a  hut,  inside 
Do  you  know  but  a  sweetheart  has  shelter  there? 

*  26th  July  1814,  on  the  drive  from  Eisenach  to  Fulda, 
t  Same  date  as  the  last. 


Do  you  meet  a  youth,  bold,  proper  and  trim, 
He  will  conquer  you  later,  or  you'll  conquer  him ; 
Be  sure  of  the  vine-stock  you  may  say 
It  will  bring  you  a  gift  of  grace  some  day. 
So  here  to  the  world  you're  commended  aright ; 
And  what  remains  over  I  will  not  recite.* 


HONOUR  the  salutation  of  the  unknown ! 
No  less  than  greeting  of  old  friend  esteem  it. 
After  few  words  exchanged,  ye  say  farewell, 
Thou  to  the  east,  he  westward,  go  your  roads. 
If  after  many  years  your  paths  should  cross, 
All  unforeseen,  with  glad  exclaim  ye  cry— 
"  It  is  he!     Yes,  there  it  was!  "  forgetting  quite 
So  many  a  voyaging  day  by  land  and  sea, 
So  many  a  revolution  of  the  sun. 
Now  barter  merchandise,  now  share  your  gains! 
Old  confidence  effects  a  new  alliance — 
Worth  many  a  thousand  is  the  first  salute : 
Therefore  give  greetings  kind  to  each  that  greets 
thee!  t 


FOREVER  of  your  faults  and  you 
They  have  had  so  much  to  say, 
Ay,  and  to  set  them  forth  as  true 
Have  laboured  every  way. 

*  27th  May  1815.  t  Jena,  I2th  July  1819. 

IV.    BOOK  OF  REFLECTIONS         51 

If  of  your  merits  they  had  sense 

Some  kindly  word  to  say, 

With  faithful,  clear  intelligence 

Pointed  the  better  way, 

O  certainly  the  highest  and  best 

Its  presence  must  display, 

Which  counts  perchance  not  many  a  guest 

'Mongst  those  in  cloister  grey. 

Now,  as  some  scholar  you  might  choose 

Admitted  late,  I  pray 

Teach  me  of  penitence  the  use, 

When  man  has  gone  astray.* 


MARKETS  stir  the  buyer's  greed; 
But  knowledge  puffeth  up  indeed. 
Who  looks  around  with  quiet  eye 
Learns  how  love  doth  edify. 
Didst  night  and  day  thy  pains  bestow 
Much  to  hear  and  much  to  know, 
Now  hearken  at  another  door, 
How  to  win  the  better  lore. 
Shall  Justice  dwell  in  thee,  thou  must 
Feel  in  God  something  that  is  just; 
Who  flames  with  some  pure  love  alone 
Will  by  the  loving  God  be  known,  t 

*  Inserted  in  1827.* 

t  Inserted  in   1827.]    The   markets   are  marts  of  learning,  or 



WHILE  I  was  honest 

Things  went  to  the  bad; 
Long  years  of  self-torment 

And  anguish  I  had. 
Men  esteemed  and  despised  me; 

Say,  say  what  it  meant. 
Then  I  longed  to  turn  knave, 

Tried  with  busy  intent, 
But  possess  me  it  could  not, 

Though  shattered  and  rent. 
So  I  thought  "  To  be  honest, 

All  told,  is  the  best;" 
Twas  a  plaguy  affair 

I've  bided  the  test.* 


THE  blessed  brood  of  Abraham  know 

In  sturdy  beggary  joys  to  reap; 
In  the  bazaar  I  watch  them  go, 

Chaffering  for  wares,  dog-cheap,  dirt-cheap,  t 


QUESTION  not  through  what  gate  of  grace 

Into  God's  city  thou  hast  come, 
But  where  at  first  thou  took'st  thy  place, 

There  bide,  and  fill  thy  quiet  room. 

*  Inserted  in  1827.  f  Inserted  posthumously. 

IV.    BOOK  OF   REFLECTIONS        53 

Then  gaze  around !     Behold  the  wise, 
The  mighty,  set  in  high  command! 

Those  the  enlighteners  of  thine  eyes, 
These  to  add  virtue  to  thy  hand. 

If,  loyal  servant  of  the  state, 
Thy  tranquil  uses  thou  dost  prove, 

Know  thou  shalt  suffer  no  man's  hate 
And  many  men  will  yield  thee  love. 

The  life  of  action — faithfulness — 
The  Prince  shall  fail  not  to  behold; 

And  new  things  shall  be  seen  no  less 
Firm  in  endurance  than  the  old. 

If  strong  and  gentle,  thou  thy  round 
Of  life  shalt  run  and  touch  the  goal, 

Thou  in  thy  measure  shalt  be  found 
Exemplar  to  some  younger  soul.* 


WHENCE  came  I?     That  remains  a  question  still; 

The  way  thus  far  my  thought  can  scarce  re- 
measure  ; 

But  here  and  now — glad  day  of  miracle ! — 

As  friends  are  meeting,  greeting,  pain  and 

*  Sent  from  Wiesbaden,  3Oth  May  1815  (with  two  other  stanzas), 
for  the  jubilee  of  work  of  the  Weimar  officials  Kirms  and  Schardt. 


O  sweet  good  fortune  when  the  two  grow  one ! 
For  who  would  laugh,   and   who   would  weep, 
alone?  * 


ONE  after  other  hence  departs, 

Ay,  or  may  go  before : 
So,  brisk  and  brave,  with  manly  hearts, 

Let's  tread  life's  pathway  o'er ! 

Flower-gatherings,  glancing  off  the  track, 

Delay  you  in  good  sooth, 
But  nothing  fiercelier  holds  you  back 

Than  treason  to  the  truth,  t 


WITH  woman  deal  f orbearingly ! 

Shapen  from  a  crooked  rib  was  she; 

Exactly  straight  God  could  not  make  her, 

If  you  would  bend,  you  break  her; 

Leave  her  in  peace  and  crookedei  she  grows ; 

Worse   thing   than   this,   good  Adam,   say  who 


With  woman  deal  f  orbearingly: 
To  break  your  rib  small  gain  can  be !  } 

*  1 3th  September  1818  ;  inserted  in  the  Divan  1827. 
t  Inserted  1827  ;  a  suggestion  from  a  hymn. 
%  Not  later  than  3Oth  May  1815;  from  the  Sunna  (Sayings  of 
Mohammed)  in  Hammer's  rendering. 

IV.    BOOK  OF   REFLECTIONS         55 


LIFE  is  in  truth  a  sorry  sport, 
In  this  or  that  each  man  comes  short, 
One  wants  too  much,  one  none  at  all, 
While  power  and  fortune  toss  the  ball ; 
And  if  misfortune  play  a  part, 
Each  bears  it  with  reluctant  heart. 
Till,  last,  the  heirs  with  beaming  front 
Bear  gravewards  Master  Can't-and- Won't.* 


LIFE  is  a  game  of  goose ;  we  pace 

Swift  on  our  forward  way, 
Quicklier  to  reach  that  halting-place 

Where  none  would  choose  to  stay. 

They  say  that  geese  are  stupid  things; 

O  lend  such  folk  no  ear, 
For  one  turned  round  with  signallings 

To  point  me  to  the  rear. 

Far  different  is  this  world,  where  all 

Press  eager  to  advance, 
And  if  we  make  a  trip  or  fall, 

No  soul  will  backward  glance,  f 

*  Inserted  in  the  Divan  in  1827. 

t  1 5th  December  1814.     For  some  explanation  of  the  game  of 
Goose  see  Burdach's  note  in  the  Jubilaums-Ausgabe  (v.  p.  253). 



'  THE  years,"  thou  sayest,  "  take  so  much  away; 
The  proper  pleasure  of  the  senses'  play; 
The  sweet  recall  of  loveliest  wiles  and  words 
Last  eve;  nor  vantage  true  it  now  affords 
To  speed  from  land  to  land;  no  princely  token 
Of  merit  recognized,  no  praises  spoken, 
Once  welcome,  now  delight;  no  more  avails 
Action  for  joy;  thy  courage  quails  and  fails. 
Remains  one  special  thing  I  know  not  of  ?  " 
Enough  remains !     Illumined  thought  and  love !  * 


THROUGH  Erfurt  once  my  journey  lay — 
Roamed  o'er  so  oft  in  days  long  gone; 

I  seemed,  though  years  had  flown  away, 
Welcome  and  dear  to  everyone. 

And  when  old  dames  from  stall  and  booth 
Me — old  like  them — would  gladly  greet, 

I  thought  I  saw  those  days  of  youth 
We  each  for  other  made  so  sweet. 

That  was  a  baker's  daughter;  she 
Beside  her  a  shoe-vamper  thriving; 

*  loth  February  1818;  inserted  in  1827  ;  "illumined  thought" 
(last  line)  is  in  the  original  Idee. 

VI.    BOOK  OF  REFLECTIONS         57 

No  owl  the  first  was  certainly, 
The  other  knew  the  art  of  living. 

Hafiz,  thy  rival  I  would  be 

In  this,  and  may  the  humour  last, 

To  take  the  present  joyously, 
And  share  my  gladness  in  the  past.* 


BEFORE  the  man  of  learned  skill 

Tis  safe  to  stand  for  good  or  ill; 

If  o'er  your  task  you  long  have  ailed 

He  straightway  knows  where  you  have  failed; 

But  hope  approval  in  his  sight  ; 

He  knows  when  you  have  hit  the  white,  t 


FREE-HAND  is  duped  with  a  lie, 
Close-fist  is  soon  sucked  dry, 
Clear-wit's  led  astray  into  vanity, 
Deep-brain  stretched  thin  to  inanity, 
Hard-heart  is  dodged  and  rooked, 
Soft-head  is  snared  and  hooked: 

*  25th  July  1814  ;  posthumously  inserted  in  the  Divan. 
t  i6th  November  1819;  inserted  in  1827. 


Be  lord  of  the  lies  they  weave, 
You,  the  deceived,  deceive!  * 


HE  who  has  rule  o'er  thee  will  now 
Yield  praise;  again  a  fault  will  find; 

And,  good  and  faithful  servant,  thou 
Must  each  accept  with  equal  mind. 

Some  trivial  thing  may  win  his  praise, 
Blame  be  bestowed  where  praise  were  right ; 

Be  of  good  cheer  through  all  the  days, 
And,  last,  stand  proven  in  his  sight. 

Ye  great  ones,  bear  you  toward  the  Lord 
Like  those  who  walk  in  lowly  ways ; 

Act,  suffer,  as  He  gives  the  word, 
And  keep  good  cheer  through  all  the  days.f 

*  It  is  difficult  to  approximate  to  the  German  : — 

Freigebiger  wird  betrogen, 
Geizhafter  ausgesogen, 
Verstandiger  irregeleitet, 
Verniinftiger  leer  geweitet, 
Der  Harte  wird  umgangen, 
Der  Gimpel  wird  gefangen. 
Beherrsche  diese  LUge, 
Betrogener,  betrlige  ! 

f  Not  later  than  May  1815  ;  suggestion  from  Saadi's  Gulistan. 

IV.    BOOK  OF  REFLECTIONS        59 



THROUGH  all  the  Transoxonians'  blare 

And  clashings  hollow, 
Our  song  grows  bold  and  still  will  dare 

Thy  steps  to  follow! 

Living  in  thee,  no  wrong 

Our  spirits  can  whelm; 
Prince,  may  thy  life  be  long, 

Endless  thy  realm !  * 



UNTAMED  of  mood,  as  then  I  was, 

Sometime  I  a  Master  found, 
And  tamed,  when  many  a  year  did  pass, 

I  a  Mistress  also  found. 
Strictly  they  put  me  to  the  test, 

Loyal  and  true  my  heart  was  found, 
Carefully  held  me  close  possessed 

As  though  some  treasure  they  had  found ; 
The  man  that  serves  two  masters — he 

Thereby  good  fortune  never  found; 

*  About  May  1815  ;  Shah  Sedschan  stands  for  Karl  August. 


Master  and  Mistress  gladly  see 

That  I  by  both  of  them  was  found; 

My  star  and  fortune  shone  on  me 
When  such  a  pair  as  these  I  found.* 


MANY  a  land  have  I  travelled  through, 
Seen  almost  the  whole  human  crew, 
No  corner  but  I  have  inspected  it, 
Not  a  stalk  but  has  yielded  me  some  wheat ; 
So  blessed  a  city  I  never  have  spied, 
Houris  on  houris,  bride  on  bride,  t 


O  WORLD,  how  shameless  and  malign  thou  art ! 
Who  feedest,  fosterest,  slayest,  the  same  hour. 

None  save  to  whom  Allah  doth  grace  impart 
Is  fed  and  fostered,  life  and  wealth  his  dower. 

*  This  Ghazel  has  reference  to  Goethe's  relations  with  the  Grand 
Duke  Karl  August  and  his  wife. 

f  Versitied  from  words  of  the  Persian  Ambassador  at  St  Peters- 
burg, May  1816.  Inserted  after  Goethe's  death. 

IV.    BOOK  OF  REFLECTIONS         61 

What  then  is  wealth?     A  wanning  sun  a-shine; 
It  glads  the  beggars;  not  less  glad  are  we; 
Nor  let  the  rich  begrudge  the  beggar's  fee — 
Self-will  unchartered,  his  delight  divine.* 


BIDEST  thou  in  the  world,  a  dream  it  flies; 
Thou  journeyest — fate  has  fixed  the  boundaries; 
Seizure  of  thine  nor  heat  nor  cold  hath  stayed 
And  all  that  blooms  for  thee  anon  will  fade.f 



THE  mirror  tells  me  I  am  fair; 

You  say  that  age  is  writ  in  the  decree. 

All  things  with  God  a  changeless  aspect  wear; 

Love  Him  at  least  this  moment's  space  in  me! 

*  As  indicated  by  the  title,  from  Firdus 
f  Be  fore  3Oth  May  1815. 

V.    BOOK  OF  ILL  HUMOUR          63 




"  WHENCE  took  you  this  you  sing? 
How  came  you  by  the  thing? 
How  from  life's  leavings  vain 
This  kindling  did  you  gain, 
The  last  sparks,  faint  as  few 
To  foster  and  renew?  " 

Misdeem  not,  nor  suppose 
Life's  usual  sparks  were  those; 
Space  without  bounds  or  bars, 
The  ocean  of  the  stars, 
I  knew,  not  love  and  lorn, 
But,  as  it  were,  newborn. 

The  flocks  of  sheep  were  white, 
Billowing  o'er  hill  and  height, 
Tended  by  herdsmen  grave, 
Who  glad  their  little  gave; 
Such  tranquil  kindly  folk 
That  each  some  joy  awoke J 


In  nights  of  shuddering  fear 
With  threat  of  combat  near, 
Groaning  of  camels  shook 
The  ear,  the  soul ;  and  took 
Their  leader's  spirits,  daunting 
Their  fantasy  and  vaunting. 

And  ever  on  we  haste, 
Ever  some  wider  waste, 
Till  all  our  way  and  wending 
Seemed  but  a  flight  unending, 
And  blue,  past  wilds  we  flee, 
Stretched  the  illusive  sea.* 


THERE'S  not  a  rhymer  you  can  find 
But  is  the  best  in  his  own  eyes, 

No  fiddler  but  is  most  inclined 
To  fiddle  his  own  melodies. 

Nor  shall  they  be  reproached  by  me, 
For  honouring  others  we  deprive 

Ourselves  of  our  nobility; 

How  should  we  live  if  others  live? 

*  Not  later  than  joth  May  1815. 

V.    BOOK  OF  ILL  HUMOUR          65 

In  antechambers  I  have  seen 

Twas  just  the  same,  where  'twas  agreed 
No  difference  could  be  found  between 

Mouse-dirt  and  coriander-seed. 

The  Past  would  hate,  you  may  be  sure, 
New  brooms  which  make  such  vigorous  play, 

And  these  in  turn  could  not  endure 
The  worn-out  brooms  of  yesterday. 

When  nations  part  in  bitterness, 

Each  holding  cheap  the  ancient  friend, 

Neither  is  willing  to  confess 
That  both  pursued  the  self-same  end. 

Gross  egoism  and  manifest — 

Some  folk  can't  speak  too  ill  of  it, 
Who  least  of  all  their  grief  digest 

When  others  make  some  happy  hit.* 


FRIENDSHIP  with  countrymen  of  mine 

Is  not  a  need  with  me; 
Fair  words  confederate  and  combine 

With  bitterest  enmity. 

*  Written  26th  July    1814;   rehandled  23rd   December    1814. 
Stanza  5  refers  to  France  and  Germany. 
2  E 


Ever,  as  blander  they  would  show, 

My  menaces  flew  free; 
Dark  morn  and  stormy  sunset-glow 

Untroubled  I  could  see; 
The  water  I  let  flow — let  flow 

Whether  for  grief  or  glee, 
Possessed,  whatever  I  undergo, 

Of  strong  self-mastery. 
Pleasures  the  passing  hours  bestow 

Best  with  their  needs  agree, 
Nor  do  I  thwart  them;  each  should  know 

His  proper  appetency. 
They  greet  me  all,  each  one  a  foe 

Who  hates  me  mortally.* 


DOES  a  man  find  himself  easy  and  gay, 

At  once  to  plague  him  every  neighbour's  vieing; 
While  the  brave  fellow  lives  and  works  away, 

To  stone  the  man  were  gratifying ; 
But  by  and  by,  once  he  is  dead, 

What  big  subscriptions  are  collected! 
In  honour  of  the  wretched  life  he  led 

A  monument  must  be  erected. 
The  public  in  considering  the  plan 

If  its  own  interest  should  have  a  thought; 
More  sensible  it  were  if  the  good  man, 

Once  dead,  were  clean  forgo t.t 

*  igthjMarch  1818;  published  posthumously,      f  ;th  February  1815 

V.    BOOK  OF  ILL  HUMOUR          67 

POWER  that  o'ermasters — this,  admit, 

We  cannot  from  the  world  expel, 
Converse  with  men  of  finest  wit, 

Converse  with  tyrants  likes  me  well. 

Ever  the  noisiest  knockings  sound 
From  stupid,  cribbed  and  cabined  folk ; 

Half -men,  of  spirit  shrunken,  bound 
Would  gladly  bow  us  to  their  yoke. 

I  have  declared  myself  as  free 

Alike  from  fools  and  from  your  sage ; 

These  take  the  matter  quietly, 
And  those  would  rend  themselves  for  rage. 

They  think  we  must  at  last  prove  one 

In  force  and  love  for  mutual  aid; 
For  me  such  men  bedim  the  sun, 

And  turn  to  fever-heat  my  shade. 

Hafiz,  and  Ulrich  Hutten  too, 

Stood  armed,  addressed  to  stout  resistance, 
Against  the  brown  cowls  or  the  blue; 

Mine  dress  as  do  their  fellow-Christians. 

"  Let's  know  your  foes,  their  name  and  state!  " 
Nay,  none  shall  draw  destructions  here; 

For  from  their  body  corporate 

Enough  I  have  borne  this  many  a  year.* 

*  ;th  February  1815. 



To  ape,  re-shape,  mis-shape  me,  each  in  turn, 
Now  for  at  least  full  fifty  years  they  have  sought ; 
None  the  less,  what  your  worth  may  be,  I  thought 
In  your  own  native  fields  you  best  may  learn ; 
You  in  your  time  have  played  the  madcap  rude 
With  a  wild,  young,  demonic-genial  crew; 
Then  softly  year  by  year  you  closer  drew 
To  wise  men  of  divine  mansuetude.* 


IF  on  the  Good  you  rest  secure 

I'll  ne'er  think  blame  your  due ; 
If  you  have  wrought  the  Good,  be  sure 

That  will  ennoble  you; 
But  if  around  your  Good  you  have  reared 

Your  fence,  or  hedge  have  heaved, 
Why,  I  live  free,  and  on  my  word 

In  no  wise  live  deceived. 

For  good  are  men,  yet,  be  it  confessed, 

Better  they  might  be  found, 
If  as  one  shapes  his  course,  the  rest 

Went  not  the  selfsame  round; 

*  Line    I  in   the   original  "  Mich  nach-und   umzubilden,  miss- 

V.    BOOK  OF  ILL  HUMOUR          69 

Take  for  your  way  this  word  of  grace, 
Which  can  wring  no  man's  wither — 

If  we  would  all  attain  one  place, 
Then  let  us  march  together. 

But  many  an  obstacle  will  rise, 

Our  forward  feet  to  fetter; 
In  love  no  mortal  ever  sighs 

For  aider  or  abettor; 
Honour  and  coin  each  man  would  have 

Gladly  for  his  sole  spending, 
And  wine,  the  loyal  and  the  brave, 

Breeds  quarrels  ere  the  ending. 

On  such  things  Hafiz  has  been  frank, 

And  many  a  word  has  spoken, 
Musing  on  many  a  foolish  prank, 

His  head  he  too  has  broken. 
Quitting  the  world,  I  cannot  see 

How  we  should  better  fare, 
And  if  the  worst  should  come,  make  free 

With  handfuls  of  your  hair.* 


As  if  on  names  could  rest  what  ne'er 
Save  self-evolved  in  silence  grows! 

I  love  the  Good  which  is  the  Fair 
As  from  the  thought  of  God  it  rose ! 

*26th  July  1814. 


Some  man  I  love — such  is  my  need ; 

None  hate  I ;  must  this  come  to  pass, 
Ready  I  am  for  hate  indeed, 

Prompt  hate  for  some  collective  mass. 

Would  you  know  better  who  are  meant, 
What's  right,  what's  wrong,  hold  well  in  sight! 

What  they  shall  name  all-excellent, 
Tis  more  than  likely's  not  the  right. 

To  grasp  what's  right  our  life  must  be 
Based  on  foundations  deep  and  sure, 

To  prate  and  gyrate  seems  to  me 
A  shallow  putting  forth  of  power. 

And  well  may  Master  Tatterer  deem 

The  wanton  Scatterer  his  friend, 
And  to  himself  the  Shatterer  seem 

Best  of  the  trio  in  the  end. 

That  ever,  with  each  day's  renewing, 

Some  new  thing  should  be  heard  with  joy, 

And  all  the  while  this  scattering,  strewing, 
Should  each  one  inwardly  destroy! 

Of  this,  though  Deutsch  or  Teutsch  his  style, 

Still  is  our  dear  compatriot  fain ; 
The  song  pipes  secretly  the  while— 

So  was  it,  so  it  will  remain.* 

*2;th  July  1814;  "Tatterer,"  " Scatterer,"  and  " Shatterer " of 
Stanza  5  attempt  to  imitate  the  German,  "  Herr  Knitterer," 
"  Zersplitterer,"  and  "  Verwitterer."  Deutsch  or  Teutsch,  i.e.,  the 
German,  or  the  German  pledged  to  the  cult  of  nationality. 



MEDSCHNUN  means — no,  I  would  not  say 
It  means  precisely  one  that's  mad; 

But  if  I  boast  me  as  Medschnun,  stay, 
Nor  think  my  folly  to  upbraid. 

If  the  full,  loyal  heart  o'erflows 
To  save  you,  powerless  to  refrain, 

Cry  not  you  "  There  the  madman  goes! 
Fetch  us  the  cords,  produce  the  chain!  " 

And  when  the  wiser  languishing, 
Captive  and  bound,  shall  meet  your  eye, 

Like  fiery  nettles  it  will  sting 
To  be  but  helpless  standers-by.* 

WHEN  did  I  ever  counsel  you 

How  battles  should  be  fought  and  won? 
Or  blame  because  the  terms  you  drew 

Of  peace,  when  feats  of  arms  were  done? 

I  have  seen  the  fisher  cast  his  net, 
Looked  on,  nor  spoke,  and  left  him  there; 

The  master- joiner  I  can  let, 
Unschooled  by  me,  adjust  his  square. 

*  Not  later  than  3Oth  May  1815. 


But  you — you  would  know  thus  and  thus, 

In  better  wise  what  I  have  known, 
What  Nature,  gladly  industrious 

For  my  sake,  made  long  since  my  own. 

In  your  own  selves  do  you  divine 

Like  force — push  on  in  your  own  trade ! 

But  should  you  look  on  work  of  mine 

Learn — "  Thus  he  willed  it  should  be  made!  "  * 



IF  baseness  have  its  hour 
Let  none  cry  "  Wellaway!  " 

For  baseness — it  is  power 
Whatever  folk  may  say. 

In  evil  it  bears  rule, 

Winning  huge  prizes  still, 

And  justice  it  can  school 
Whatever  way  it  will. 

Wanderer!  thy  strength  wouldst  try 
'Gainst  what  will  be  and  must? 

Whirlwind  and  filth  that's  dry 
Let  spin  and  mount  in  dust !  t 

*  Not  later  than  3Oth  May  1815.          I  iQth  November  1814. 

V.    BOOK  OF  ILL  HUMOUR          73 


WHO  from  the  world  will  that  demand 

She  craves  in  dreams,  while  with  an  eye, 
Glanced  backward  or  on  either  hand, 

She  lets  the  day  of  days  go  by? 
Her  efforts  and  goodwill  limp  slow, 

Following  swift  life  that  runs  the  way, 
And  what  you  needed  years  ago, 

That  she  would  proffer  you  to-day.* 


To  praise  oneself  is  sure  a  fault;  yet  who 
That  does  aught  good  escapes  it?     If  he  feigns 

In  those  his  words  no  whit,  and  all  be  true, 
The  good  for  ever  good  remains. 

You  fools !  the  wise,  who  knows  his  due, 

Rob  him  not  of  his  happy  mood, 
When  squandering — he  a  fool  like  you — 

The  world's  insipid  gratitude,  t 


BELIEVE  you,  then,  from  lip  to  ear 
Can  come  one  veritable  gain? 

*  Not  later  than  3Oth  May  1815  ;  suggestion  from  Saadi. 
t  Inserted  in  1827  ;  suggestion  from  the  Persian. 


Fool !  the  tradition  you  revere 
Is  but  a  cobweb  of  the  brain ! 

Now  first  'tis  judgment  should  convince; 
From  chains  of  faith  that  still  enslave  you 
Reason  alone  has  power  to  save  you, 

That  Reason  you  renounced  long  since ! 


OUR  patriot  ape,  the  Briton  ape, 

Gallic,  Italianated, 
They  one  and  all  their  purpose  shape 

As  self-love  postulated. 

With  one  and  all  the  admiring  vein 

Is  not  a  thing  of  rigour, 
Save  on  some  day  when  they  would  gain 

Its  help  to  cut  a  figure. 

And  Good  may  till  to-morrow  wait 
For  friendly  hearts  and  faces, 

If  only  111  to-day  grow  great 
With  favours  and  with  places. 

Let  him  who  fails  to  learn  and  mark 
Three  thousand  years  still  stay, 

V.     BOOK   OF   ILL  HUMOUR          75 

Void  of  experience,  in  the  dark, 
And  live  from  day  to  day.* 


OF  old  the  sacred  Koran  did  they  cite, 
They  named  the  verse  and  chapter  ever  blest, 
And  each  good  Mussulman,  as  was  but  right, 
Reverenced,  and  felt  his  conscience  was  at  rest. 
The  modern  Dervish  nothing  better  knows, 
But  prates  of  old  and  new  with  endless  zest; 
Each  day  our  most  admired  disorder  grows. 
O  sacred  Koran !     O  eternal  rest !  t 



IRKS  it  some  man  that  God  in  His  high  place 
Should  grant  Mohammed  guardianship  and  grace? 
Let  him  his  roof-tree's  sturdiest  timber  choose, 
Let  him  make  fast  thereto  a  proper  noose, 
Let  him  adjust  his  neck.     Is  it  stoutly  made? 
So  shall  he  feel  his  anger  is  allayed.! 

*  Lines  I,  2,  in  the  original : — 

Und  wer  franzet  oder  britet, 
Italianert  oder  teutschet. 

t  Inserted  in  1827  ;  Goethe  on  "  the  new  theology." 
February  1815  ;  suggestion  from  the  Koran. 



WHAT,  lying  Priests,  you  take  it  ill,  this  storm 
Of  human  pride  and  passion  never  sated? 

If  Allah  had  decreed  me  to  be  worm, 
Belike  a  worm  I  then  had  been  created.* 

*  Inserted  in  1827.     Timur  stands  for  Napoleon. 

VI.     BOOK  OF  MAXIMS  77 



TALISMANS  in  this  Book  I  mean  to  strew 
And  thus  a  proper  equipoise  effect. 
Prick  with  a  pious  needle,  and  expect 

Eveiywhere  some  good  word  to  gladden  you. 


LET  nothing  from  to-day,  to-night,  be  sought, 
Save  that  which  yesterday  and  last  night  brought. 


WHO  to  the  world  in  evillest  days  was  sent 
May  feel  in  evil  days  a  sweet  content. 


How  easy  this  or  that  is,  he  has  wit 

To  know  who  attained  or  who  invented  it. 


THE  sea  swells  ever, 

The  land  restrains  it  never. 


FORTUNE  doth  prove  thee;  know  why  thus  she  has 

come — 
She  wills  thee  to  be  continent.     Follow  dumb ! 


STILL  it  is  day.     Up  man,  to  work  once  more! 
The  night,  when  none  can  work,  is  at  the  door. 


WOULDST  thou  remake  the  world?     Long  since 

'twas  made ! 

Creation's  Lord  each  point  has  duly  weighed. 
Thy  lot  is  fallen;  the  course  assigned  intend; 
The  way  is  entered,  follow  to  the  end; 
For  care  and  cumber,  though  they  change  it  never, 
Will  fling  thee  off  thy  equipoise  for  ever! 

VI.    BOOK  OF  MAXIMS  79 


WHEN  the  sore  oppressed  complains 
None  will  help  or  hope  afford, 

For  his  healing  still  remains 
Virtue  in  a  kindly  word. 

"  STRANGE!   in  how  maladroit  a  way  you  bore 
Yourself,  when  Fortune  entered  at  your  door!  ' 
She  did  not  reckon  it  among  my  crimes, 
The  damsel  called  again,  ay,  various  times. 


MY  heritage  how  spacious!  how  sublime! 
Time's  the  estate  I  hold,  my  field  is  time. 


Do  good  pure-hearted  for  the  love  of  good, 
And  leave  it  to  the  offspring  of  your  blood ! 
If  with  your  children  it  should  not  remain, 
For  your  grandchildren  it  will  yet  be  gain. 



ENVIRI  says,  a  man  of  noblest  strain, 

To  whom  deepest  heart  is  known,  and  loftiest 


Always  and  everywhere  avail  these  three- 
Rectitude,  judgment,  longanimity.* 


WHY  should  you  make  complaint  that  you  have 


How  should  you  ever  gain  a  friend  from  those 
For  whom  that  one  like  you  exists  at  all 
Is  a  reproach  silent,  perpetual? 


No  stupid  word  is  worse  to  bear 
Than  when  the  stupid  tell  the  wise, 
In  their  great  days  of  victories, 

How  proper  is  a  modest  air. 


IF  God  as  ill  a  neighbour  were 
As  you  or  I  'twere  much  amiss, 

Small  honour  would  be  cither's  share : 
God  leaves  us  each  one  as  He  is. 

*  Geradheit,  Urteil  und  Vertraglichkeit. 

VI.    BOOK  OF  MAXIMS  81 


THE  Eastern  bards,  be  it  confessed, 
Outmatch  us  poets  of  the  West; 
Yet  in  one  point  we  run  them  hard — 
Our  hatred  of  a  brother-bard. 


To  o'ertop  his  fellows — that  is  each  man's  bent; 

Tis  the  world's  way  at  all  times,  in  all  lands; 
By  all  means  let  who  will  be  insolent, 

But  only  in  the  thing  he  understands. 


SPARE  us,  God,  Thine  anger  dire! 
The  wrens  are  tuning  for  the  choir. 


ENVY  would  tear  itself  for  spite — 
Let  it  indulge  its  appetite ! 


RESPECTED  would  you  hold  your  way, 
Have  bristles  set  behind,  before; 

With  hawks  they  chase  all  kinds  of  prey; 
No,  not  quite  all — not  the  wild  boar. 



To  bar  my  way — their  wish  and  want — 
How  should  it  serve  the  priestling  crew? 

A  thing  that  can't  be  seized  in  front 
Will  not  be  known  askew. 


HE  will  acclaim  and  laud  with  brightening  eyes 
A  hero,  who  himself  was  warrior  bold; 

A  man's  true  value  none  will  recognize 
Who  has  himself  not  suffered  heat  and  cold. 


Do  good  for  good's  sake  in  all  purity! 

Nothing  remains  with  thee  of  what  thou  hast 

wrought ; 
And  even  if  it  should  remain  with  thee, 

Yet  with  thy  children  it  remaineth  not. 


HIDE — or  be  prey  of  every  sorriest  thief — 
Thy  gold,  thy  setting-forth,  and  thy  belief. 

VI.    BOOK  OF  MAXIMS  83 


How  comes  it — that  where'er  we  go  we  hear 
So  much  that's  good,  so  much  that's  dull  and 

The  youngest  to  the  oldest  lend  an  ear, 
And,  deeming  them  their  own,  the  words  retail. 


NEVER  be  led  into  the  dance 

Of  controversy  without  end ! 
The  wise  fall  into  ignorance 

When  with  the  ignorant  they  contend. 


"  WHY  dwells  Truth  in  far-off  lands, 
Or  hides  in  deep  abysses  mewed?  " 

None  at  the  right  time  understands ! 
If  only  then  men  understood, 

Broad  Truth  were  also  near  our  hands, 
And  Truth  were  gentle,  dear,  and  good. 


BUT  why  would  you  investigate 
Where  human  kindliness  may  flow? 

Upon  the  water  cast  your  cate ; 
The  eater,  who  shall  know? 



ONE  day  I  crushed  a  spider;  in  my  mind 
The  question  rose:   Is  it  well  this  I  have  done? 

To  it,  even  as  to  me,  hath  God  assigned 
A  portion  in  the  breezes  and  the  sun. 


"  DARK  is  the  night;  with  God  is  cloudless  day." 
Why  fashioned  He  not  us  the  selfsame  way? 


WHAT  a  mixed  company  life  shows ! 
At  the  table  of  God  sit  friends  and  foes. 


CLOSE-FISTED  am  I  as  you  say? 

Give  me  the  wherewithal  to  throw  away ! 


SHALL  I  show  the  landscape  for  your  behoof? 
First,  so  please  you,  climb  to  the  roof. 

VI.    BOOK  OF  MAXIMS  85 


WHO  holds  his  peace  will  by  few  cares  be  wrung; 
Ambushed  the  man  lies  underneath  the  tongue. 


A  MASTER  with  two  serving-men 

Is  waited  on  but  meanly; 
Where  dwell  two  women  but  and  ben 

Are  swept  not  over  cleanly. 


GOOD  people,  rest  content  with  this, 

Say  only  Autos  epha! 
Why  speak  of  Man  and  Woman  more? 

Adam's  the  name  and  Eva !  * 


ALOUD,  aloft,  my  thanks  to  Allah  rose ! 

Why?     Because  suffering  he  set  apart 
From  knowledge.     If  what  the  physician  knows 

The  sick  man  knew,  despair  were  at  his  heart. 

*  An  ironical  commendation  of  accepting  dogma  on  authority  ; 
Autos  epha,  the  Pythagorean  Ipse  dixit.  "Adam"  and  "Eve," 
humanity  presented  in  traditional  dogma  as  contrasted  with 
humanity  independently  studied. 



THE  folly!    Every  man  in  turn  would  still 
His  own  peculiar  notions  magnify ! 

If  Islam  mean  submission  to  God's  will, 
May  we  all  live  in  Islam,  and  all  die. 


EACH  man  that's  born  builds  a  new  house — his  own ; 
He  passes,  leaves  it  to  a  second, 
Who  fits  it  as  the  builder  never  reckoned, 
And  no  one  lays  the  topmost  stone. 


THINGS  in  my  house  he  blames,  this  visitor, 
Endured  by  me  for  years,  and  well  he  can ; 

But  he  had  kicked  his  heels  outside  the  door, 
Had  I  not  chosen  to  endure  the  man. 

xi  u 

LORD,  may  this  little  house 
With  Thy  good  pleasure  meet ! 

A  greater  might  be  built ; 
More  could  not  come  of  it. 

VI.    BOOK  OF  MAXIMS  87 


STILL  may  this  house  fresh  glory  gain, 
As  ageless  seizin  handed  down! 

His  honour  may  the  son  maintain 
As  did  the  father  his  renown ! 


I  SEE  for  life  you  are  well  provided  there ! 

And  no  one  for  such  gear  will  do  you  wrong; 
Two  friends  are  yours,  and  not  a  single  care — 

A  wine-cup  and  a  little  book  of  song! 


LOKMAN,  repulsive  to  men's  eyes, 

— Thence  named — brought  forth  things  fair  and 

Not  in  the  cane  the  sweetness  lies; 

The  sugar,  that  is  sweet. 


WITH  force  far-flung  the  Orient  rose, 
And  passed  the  Midland  Sea!  Alone 

For  him  who  Hafiz  loves  and  knows 
Ring  right  the  songs  of  Calderon. 



O  HAFIZ,  from  thy  songs  I  learn 
The  way  that  poets  should  be  praised! 

Behold !  to  thee  I  make  return, 

And  nobly  let  the  thanks  be  raised ! 


"  WHY  one  hand  thus  of  gems  bereft, 

One  to  excess  bedight?  " 
Tell  me,  what  business  has  the  left 

Save  to  adorn  the  right. 


IF  the  ass  of  Jesus  even 
To  blessed  Mecca  should  be  driven, 
He  would  show  no  better  training 
To  the  last  an  ass  remaining. 


DIRT  that  we  tread 

Is  not  hardened  but  spread. 

Yet  thump  it  well  with  sturdy  blows 

In  a  fixed  mould,  to  form  it  grows. 

VI.    BOOK  OF  MAXIMS  89 

You  easily  may  see  such  stone, 
As  pise*  'tis  to  Europe  known.* 


You  righteous  folk,  vex  not  your  spirits  within 
For  he  who  sins  not  knows  when  others  sin; 
But  he  alone  who  sins  has  learnt  to  tell, 
Now  first  made  clear,  wherein  they  have  done  well. 


"  MANY  have  given  you  of  their  store 

Good  things,  nor  thanks  did  you  impart!  " 

I  am  not  troubled  on  this  score, 
Their  gifts  live  in  my  heart. 


A  GOOD  repute  see  that  you  earn, 
Wisely  'twixt  this  and  that  discern; 
He  who  would  more  than  this  is  lost. 


THE  flood  of  passion  storms  in  idle  strife 
Against  the  unconquerable  land; 
Poetic  pearls  it  tosses  on  the  strand, 
And  thus  enriches  life. 

*  Foulness,  for  example,  as  presented  in  a  newspaper,  contrasted 
with  foulness  as  in  Rabelais. 



FROM  him  alone  who  feels  that  he  is  free 
Boasting  of  bonds  like  these  is  fitly  heard 
And  he  who  gaily  sports  with  the  absurd 
Alone  wears  the  absurd  becomingly. 


THOU  hast  granted  many  a  man's  desire 
Even  when  thine  interest  it  has  crossed; 

Little  does  this  good  man  require, 
And  free  from  danger  as  from  cost. 


Little  does  this  good  man  require, 
But  if  I  granted  his  desire 
Upon  the  moment  he  were  lost. 


A  SORRY  thing,  yet  seen  once  and  again, 
When  Truth  draws  on  behind,  in  Error's  train; 
Tis  her  good  pleasure  often,  all  the  same 
And  who  will  question  with  so  fair  a  dame? 
But  if  Sir  Error  with  Dame  Truth  should  close, 
Sadly  the  lady  it  would  discompose. 

VI.    BOOK  OF  MAXIMS  91 


KNOW,  'tis  to  me  a  grievous  thing 
The  countless  troop  that  say  and  sing. 
Songcraft — who  drive  it  from  the  land? 
The  singing-band! 

VII.    BOOK  OF  TIMUR  93 




So  around  them  closed  the  winter 
With  resistless  fury.     Scattering 
Midst  them  all  his  icy  breathings. 
Winds  he  lashed  from  every  quarter 
As  a  hostile  troop  against  them; 
Over  them  gave  power  tyrannic 
To  his  frost-fanged  storm  and  tempest. 
Down  he  came  to  Timur's  council, 
Shrilled  his  threat  and  spake  on  this  wise: 
"  Slack  and  slow,  O  man  forbidden, 
Be  thy  march,  unrighteous  tyrant ! 
Longer  yet  shall  hearts  be  wasted, 
Scorching  in  thy  flames  and  burning? 
Art  thou  of  the  damndd  spirits 
One?     Behold,  I  am  the  other. 
Hoar  of  head  art  thou;  I  likewise; 
Stark  we  make  the  land  and  mortals. 


Mars  thou  art ;  I  am  Saturnus, 
Stars  that  strike  with  baneful  influence, 
Dreadfullest  in  their  conjunction. 
Souls  thou  slayest ;  airs  of  heaven 
Dost  thou  freeze;  my  airs  are  colder 
Than  thou  e'er  canst  be.     Thy  savage 
Host,  they  martyrize  the  faithful 
With  a  thousand  several  tortures. 
Well,  in  these  my  days,  God  grant  it, 
Direr  ill  shall  be  discovered. 
I,  by  God,  in  nought  will  spare  thee ! 
Let  God  hear  what  gift  I  proffer ! 
Ay,  by  God,  from  death's  cold  shudder 
Nought,  O  greybeard,  shall  defend  thee, 
Not  the  broad  hearth's  glow  of  fuel, 
Not  the  flame-leaps  of  December."* 



To  flatter  thee  with  incensed  air, 
Thy  mounting  pleasure  to  complete, 

A  thousand  rosebuds  opening  fair 
Must  shrink  and  shrivel  in  the  heat. 

*  December  1814.     From   Sir  W.  Jones'  version  of  an  Arabic 
biography  of  Timur  ;  applied  to  Napoleon's  Russian  campaign. 

VII.    BOOK  OF  TIMUR  95 

One  little  phial,  at  whose  lips 
Agelong  the  snared  scent  lies  enfurled, 

And  slender  as  thy  finger-tips, 
— To  compass  this  demands  a  world: 

A  world  of  living  motions  fine, 

Which,  in  their  passionate  press  and  throng, 
The  bulbuTs  coming  notes  divine, 

And  all  his  soul-awakening  song. 

Why  with  their  griefs  be  over  gloomed 
If  joy  through  perished  things  soar  free? 

Were  not  a  myriad  souls  consumed 
To  stablish  Timur's  tyranny?  * 

*  Wiesbaden,  27th  May  1815  ;  the  last  stanza  probably  added  to 
justify  its  insertion  in  the  Book  of  Timur. 




I  thought  in  the  night 

That  I  saw  the  moon  in  sleep ; 
But  when  my  sleep  took  flight 

Ah  !  the  unimagined  sun's  upleap. ' 



SEEK  not  to  outspeed  the  day: 
For  the  day  you  hold  in  chase 
Will  not  show  a  fairer  face; 
But  if  gladly  here  you  bide, 
Where  I  have  put  the  world  away, 
To  draw  it  closer  to  my  side, 
Like  content  we  each  shall  borrow: 
To-day's  to-day,  the  morrow  morrow, 
And  what  succeeds  and  what  is  past 
Nor  drives  time  on,  nor  stays  its  haste; 
Stay,  best-belov'd,  that  I  receive  it, 
You  who  bring  the  gift  and  give  it.t 

*  1814.     From  Sultan  Selina  I.  f  1814. 



THAT,  charmed,  Zuleika  upon  Jussuf  hung 

Is  no  such  marvellous  case ; 

Young  was  he,  youth  is  warranty  for  grace, 

Fair  was  he,  shaped,  they  say,  all  hearts  to  mad, 

And  she  was  fair,  each  could  make  other  glad. 

But  that  thou — O  thou,  waited  for  so  long, 

On  me  shouldst  let  youth's  eyes  of  passion  rest, 

Shouldst  love  me  now,  hereafter  make  me  blest, 

Such  wonder  must  my  songs  acclaim : 

For  me  Zuleika  ever  be  thv  name.* 


Now  that  Zuleika  is  thy  name 

I  should  also  named  be. 

When  thy  beloved  thou  dost  acclaim 

Hatem — that  the  name  shall  be. 

'Tis  but  to  have  me  known  aright, 

And  no  presumption  shall  there  be ; 

Who  names  himself  St  George's  Knight 

Pretends  not  like  St  George  to  be. 

Not  Hatem  Thai,  who  every  gift  could  give, 

I,  in  my  poverty,  can  be; 

Not  Hatem  Zograi,  wealthiest  that,  did  live 

Of  all  the  poets,  might  I  be; 

*  Eisenach,  24th  May  1815. 


Yet  up  to  both  mine  eyes  to  lift — 

That  shall  not  wholly  blameful  be; 

To  take  bliss  and  to  give  the  gift, 

Will  ever  noble  joyance  be. 

Self-love  in  joy's  exchange — sweet  thrift — 

Rapture  of  Paradise  shall  be!  * 



IT  is  not  Opportunity 

Makes  thieves,  herself  she  heads  the  roll ; 
For  from  my  heart,  its  treasury, 

All  that  was  left  of  love  she  stole. 

To  thee  the  spoil  she  has  consigned, 
The  sum  of  all  my  life  had  won; 

So  now,  made  poor,  I  look  to  find 
My  very  life  from  thee  alone. 

But  even  already  pity  charms 
Those  lustrous  eyes  to  which  I  sued, 

And  I  may  welcome  in  thine  arms 
The  fortune  of  my  life  renewed.! 

*  This  Ghazel  is  of  the  same  date  as  the  last. 
1 1 2th  September  1815. 




SINCE  of  my  joys  your  love  is  chief, 

I  chide  not  Opportunity; 
For  if  with  you  she  played  the  thief, 

How  has  her  booty  gladdened  me. 

But  wherefore  "  theft "?     Of  free  choice  give 
Yourself  to  me !  though  for  my  part 

Too  willingly  would  I  believe — 
Yes,  I  am  she  who  stole  your  heart. 

What  you  have  given  thus  freely  brings 
Noble  return,  to  match  your  stake — 

My  rest,  my  opulent  life;  these  things 
I  joy  to  give;  'tis  yours  to  take! 

Mock  not!    No  word  of  being  "  made  poor!  " 
Are  we  not  rich,  of  love  possessed? 

I  hold  you  in  my  arms,  and  sure 
Such  fortune  reckons  with  the  best.* 


THE  man  who  loves  will  never  go  astray, 
Though  shadows  close  around  him  and  above, 

Leila  and  Medschnun,  if  they  rose  to-day, 
From  me  might  understand  the  path  of  love.t 

*  Marianne  von  Willemer's  reply  to  the  last ;  loth  September  1815. 
t  January  1815.     From  Saadi. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA         101 


Is  it  possible,  sweet  love,  I  hold  thee  close ! 

Hear  the  divine  voice  pealing,  musical ! 
Always  impossible  doth  seem  the  rose, 

And  inconceivable  the  nightingale.* 



ON  the  Euphrates  voyaging, 

Into  the  hollows  of  the  wave 
From  off  my  finger  fell  the  ring 

Of  gold  you  lately  gave. 

So  dreamed  I.    The  red  dawn  of  day 

Flashed  on  mine  eyes,  through  leaves,  a  beam ; 
Say,  then,  poet,  prophet,  say 

What  signifies  the  dream,  t 


INTERPRET  this!    In  truth  I  can: 
Have  I  not  often  by  your  side 

Told  how  the  Doge  Venetian 
Maketh  the  sea  his  bride? 

*  Same  date  as  last.  t  i?th  September  1815. 


The  ring  in  the  Euphrates  fell 
From  off  your  finger  even  so. 

Ah !  thousand  songs  celestial, 

Sweet  dreams,  from  thee  shall  flow ! 

But  I,  from  farthest  Hindustan, 
Made  for  Damascus,  hoping  there 

With  the  next  starting  caravan, 
Toward  the  Red  Sea  to  fare. 

Your  stream,  the  grove,  the  terrace,  this, 
Has  bound  me  to,  as  wedded  mate ; 

Here  shall  my  spirit,  till  love's  last  kiss, 
To  you  be  dedicate.* 

SKILLED  am  I  to  read  men's  glances; 
One  says — "  Ah,  I  love,  I  suffer! 
Live  in  longing,  live  despairing!  " 
And  what  more  a  maiden  knoweth. 
All  such  speech  can  nought  avail  me, 
All  such  speech  unmoved  must  leave  me ; 
But,  my  Hatem,  these  your  glances 
Give  the  day  its  gleam  and  glory. 
For  they  say,  "  She  yonder  glads  me, 
As  nought  else  on  earth  can  gladden ; 
Lo,  I  look  on  roses,  lilies, 

*  The  Gerbermuhle  is  the  scene. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA         103 

Pomp  and  wealth  of  every  garden, 
Look  on  cypress,  myrtle,  violets, 
Sprung  to  adorn  the  world  with  beauty, 
And  adorned  she  stands  a  marvel, 
Compassing  us  with  sweet  surprises, 
Quickening  us,  restoring,  blessing, 
So  that  health  returns  upon  us, 
And  we  sigh  again  for  sickness." 
Then  you  looked  upon  Zuleika, 
And  in  sickness  found  a  healing, 
In  your  healing  found  a  sickness, 
Smiled  and  turned  your  eyes  upon  her, 
As  you  never  smiled  on  others. 
And  Zuleika  felt  the  glance's 
Ever-living  speech — "  She  glads  me 
As  nought  else  on  earth  has  gladdened." 


THIS  tree,  entrusted  by  the  East 
Unto  my  garden-ground,  doth  show 

A  leaf  whose  hidden  sense  can  feast 
Their  hearts  who  are  skilled  to  know. 

Is  it  one  living  being  that  doth 
One  life  through  dear  division  run? 

Or  are  these  two,  self -chosen,  and  both 
Fain  to  be  known  as  one. 


The  meaning  true  I  well  divine 

Whereby  to  make  such  riddles  plain ; 

Feelest  thou  not  in  these  songs  of  mine 
That  I  am  one  and  twain.* 



MUCH  have  you  sung,  be  it  confessed, 
And  here  or  there  the  verse  addressed, 
Penned  in  your  own  rare  charactery, 
With  pomp  of  binding,  marge  of  gold, 
Faultless  each  point  and  stroke  inscrolled, 
Ay,  many  a  tome  to  allure  the  eye ; 
Say,  did  not  each  such  missive  prove, 
Whatever  sent,  a  pledge  of  love? 


Yes,  and  in  sweet  and  potent  eyes, 
Wreathed  smiles,  foretelling  ecstasies, 
In  dazzling  teeth  of  youthful  pride, 
In  eyelash-dart  and  snaky  tress 
Fallen  o'er  a  bosom's  loveliness, 
Thousandfold  danger  may  be  spied. 
Think  then  how  long  since,  think  and  guess, 
Zuleika  has  been  prophesied,  t 

*  Gingo  Biloba,  a  Japanese  tree  with  a  double  leaf.    In  September 
1815  Goethe  sent  one  of  the  leaves  to  Marianne, 
t  Heidelberg,  22nd  September  1815. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA         105 



THE  sun  ascends !    A  glorious  apparition! 

And  see  the  clasping  crescent  round  it  bow; 
Who  could  unite  the  pair  in  sweet  fruition? 

How  shall  the  riddle  be  expounded?     How? 


The  Sultan  could,  who  wedded  mate  with  mate, 
The  lordliest  pah*,  rulers  of  sea  and  land, 

That  he  his  chosen  ones  might  decorate, 
Valiantest  warriors  of  a  faithful  band. 

Be  this  an  image  of  the  joy  we  have  won! 

Herein  I  see  refigured  me  and  thee ; 
Me,  my  beloved,  thou  hast  named  thy  sun; 

Come,  give  it  proof,  sweet  moon,  enclasping 


COME,  dearest,  come,  wind  round  my  brow  this 

Thy  fingers  only  make  the  turban  fair. 
Abbas,  on  Iran's  throne  of  high  command, 

Ne'er  had  his  head  enwound  with  comelier  gear ! 

*  22nd  September  1815.     Marianne  had  bought  a  Turkish  sun 
and  moon  order  at  the  Frankfurt  fair  as  a  gift  for  Goethe. 


From  Alexander's  head  the  turban's  fold 

In  lovely  knots  and  coilings  fell ; 
And  they  who  followed  him,  great  lords  of  old, 

As  kingly  decking  liked  it  well. 

Our  Emperor's  brow  wears  this  adornment  bright 
They  name  it  crown — but  names  may  fleet  and 

Jewels  and  pearls,  let  these  the  eyes  delight ! 
Your  muslin  ever  makes  the  fairest  show. 

This,  purest  white  with  silver  broideries, 
Beloved,  wind  around  the  brow  for  me ! 

And  what  is  lordship?     Light  on  me  it  lies! 
Thou  lookest  upon  me;  I  am  great  as  he.* 


IT  is  but  little  I  demand, 

For  all  things  please  me,  and  long  while 
The  little  asked  for,  to  my  hand 

The  world  has  granted  with  a  smile. 

Oft  sit  I  in  the  tavern  gay, 
And  gay  beside  my  modest  hearth, 

But  when  I  think  of  thee,  straightway 
My  spirit  for  conquest  sallies  forth. 

*  Weimar,  i;th  February  1815.  On  Goethe's  birthday,  28th 
August  1815,  Marianne  and  Rosette  Stadel  gave  Goethe  a  turban  in 
fulfilment  of  his  poetic  wish  in  this  poem. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA          107 

The  realm  of  Timur  thou  shouldst  wield, 
His  victor  host  should  follow  thee, 

Badakschan  should  its  ruby  yield, 
Its  turquoise  the  Hyrcanian  sea. 

Thine  the  dried  fruit,  all  honey-sweet, 

Plucked  in  Bokhara,  sunlit-land, 
And  thousand  gracious  verses  writ 

On  leaves  of  silk  from  Samarcand. 

And  there  well-pleased  shouldst  thou  o'er  read 
What  goods  from  Ormuz  I  consigned, 

And  how  the  whole  machine  of  trade 
Moves  but  toward  thee  its  goal  to  find; 

Shouldst  read  of  lands  where  Brahmans  bide, 

And  myriad  fingers  ply  the  loom, 
That  Hindostan's  whole  pomp  and  pride 

For  thee  on  wool  and  silk  may  bloom. 

They  search  the  streams  of  Sumbulpore 
To  make  her  glorious  whom  I  love, 

Drift,  boulder,  gravel,  grit  explore, 
Washing  for  diamond  treasure- trove. 

The  divers,  many  a  venturous  man, 
Snatch  from  the  gulf  the  pearls,  their  prize, 

And  craftsmen  keen,  a  skilled  divan, 
Busied  for  thee  the  chain  devise. 


If  but  Bassora  last  will  add 
Incense  and  spice — no  other  thing 

Of  all  that  makes  the  wide  world  glad, 
For  thee  the  caravan  can  bring. 

Yet  all  such  royal  treasures  shown, 
End  in  distraction  of  the  sight ! 

Hearts  that  love  truly  find  alone 
Each  in  the  other  their  delight.* 


COULD  I  ever  hesitate, 
Balch,  Bokhara,  Samarcand, 

All  their  stir  and  idle  state, 
Sweet,  to  offer  to  thy  hand. 

Go  and  ask  the  Emperor 

If  cities  can  be  given  and  got ; 

He  is  wiser,  lordlier, 

How  men  love  he  knoweth  not. 

Mighty  Lord,  thy  hand  is  stayed, 
Gifts  like  these  thou  puttest  by ; 

One  should  have  as  sweet  a  maid, 
Be  a  beggar  poor  as  I.t 

*  ?  i;th  March,  i;th  May  1815.  t  i;th  February  1815. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA         109 



MY  sweetest  child,  pearls  strung  arow, 
Far  as  my  power  to  give  might  prove, 

Fondly  on  thee  did  I  bestow, 
As  wick  to  bear  the  flame  of  love. 

And  now  thou  comest,  and  on  thy  breast 

Of  all  abraxas  of  its  kind 
There  hangs  that  sign  which,  I  protest, 

Is  the  most  alien  to  my  mind. 

Couldst  thou  to  me  at  Shiraz  bring 

This  wholly  modern  foolery, 
Stick  crossed  on  stick,  and  must  I  sing 

This  in  its  cold  rigidity? 

Abraham  the  Lord  of  every  star 

As  his  divine  forefather  chose; 
Moses,  where  spread  the  wastes  afar, 

Through  one  sole  God  to  greatness  rose. 

David,  who  many  a  time  had  erred, 
Yea,  wrought  foul  deeds,  when  all  was  done 

Knew  to  absolve  him  with  the  word — 
I  have  borne  me  loyal  to  the  One. 


Jesus  in  silence  His  pure  heart 

With  thought  of  one  sole  God  did  fill ; 

They  who  Himself  to  God  convert 
Do  outrage  to  His  holy  will. 

Mohammed  also — that  which  won 

His  triumphs  needs  must  seem  as  true- 
Through  the  idea  of  the  One 
Alone  did  he  the  world  subdue. 

And  yet  if  reverence  for  this  thing, 
This  fatal  thing,  be  thy  request, 

To  salve  me  the  excuse  I  bring 
That  not  alone  thou  triumphest. 

And  yet  alone ! — As  many  a  score 
Of  wives  drew  Solomon  from  the  law, 

Strange  gods  with  muttered  prayer  to  adore, 
Whom  foolish  women  held  in  awe. 

Throat  of  Anubis,  Isis'  horn, 

Fronting  Judaic  dignity, — 
So  to  this  god  must  my  heart  turn, 

This  piteous  image  on  the  tree ! 

No  better  would  I  seem  nor  more 
Than  by  the  event  shall  be  pronounced, 

As  Solomon  his  God  forswore 
So  mine  I  also  have  renounced. 

VIII.     BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA          in 

But  let  the  renegade's  shame  be  dumb, 
And  in  this  kiss  lose  all  its  smart : 

For  Vitziputzli  would  become 
A  talisman  upon  thy  heart !  * 


THOU  hast  smiled  to  see 

The  arrogant  leaves 

In  fairest  charactery 

Made  glorious  with  gold. 

Thou  dost  forgive  my  boast 

Of  love  thou  givest,  and  through  thee 

Attainment  fortunate, 

Thou  dost  forgive  my  pleased  self-praise. 

Self-praise !    To  the  envious  man  alone  a  stench, 

To  friends  an  odour  sweet, 

And  fragrant  to  ourselves! 

Great  is  the  joy  of  living; 

Greater  the  joy  in  life, 

When  thou,  Zuleika,  fillest  me 

With  happiness  that  overflows, 

Tossing  to  me  the  passion  of  thy  heart 

As  if  it  were  a  ball, 

*  1815.     Posthumously  added  to  the  Divan. 


That  I  may  catch  it  there, 

And  back  to  thee  may  toss 

All  my  devoted  self — 

Ah,  what  a  moment  that ! 

And  then  I  am  torn  from  thee, 

Now  by  the  Frank,  by  the  Armenian  now. 

But  days  must  pass, 

Years  wear  themselves,  before  I  new  create 

The  fulness  thousandfold  of  thy  profusion, 

Unwind  the  various-coloured  cord 

Of  this  my  happiness, 

Enlaced  with  thousand  threads 

By  thee,  Zuleika,  thee! 

Here  now,  given  in  exchange, 
Are  pearls  of  poetry, 
Flung  by  the  mighty  surge 
On  desolated  strands  of  life. 
By  slender  finger-tips 
Culled  daintily 
And  strung  on  jewelled  gold, 
Place  them  around  thy  neck, 
Upon  thy  breast, 
Raindrops  of  Allah  these 
In  modest  shell  matured!  * 

*  Heidelberg,  September  1815. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA          113 


LOVE  given  for  love,  and  hour  for  hour  exchanged, 

Word  answering  word,  and  glance  to  glance  re- 

Kiss  meeting  kiss,  from  lips  that  never  ranged, 

Breath  mixed  with  breath,  rapture  with  rapture 
vieing ! 

Thus  is  it  every  evening,  every  morrow ! 

Yet  in  each  song  of  mine  canst  thou  not  guess 

Always  a  secret  sorrow? 

Would  that  the  charms  of  Jussuf  I  might  borrow 

As  fit  return  for  all  thy  loveliness !  * 


AH,  not  to  me  return  belongs ! 

With  equal  joys  I  may  not  bless; 
Enough  for  thee  in  these  my  songs, 

My  heart,  my  faithfulness ! 

Delicious  art  thou  as  the  musk : 

Where  thou  hast  been  we  still  have  sense  of  thee.t 

*  Heidelberg,  September  1815. 

t  Posthumously  added  to  the  Divan, 




THE  slave,  the  lord  of  victories, 
The  crowd,  whene'er  you  ask,  confess 

In  sense  of  personal  being  lies 
A  child  of  earth's  chief  happiness. 

There's  not  a  life  we  need  refuse 
If  our  true  self  we  do  not  miss, 

There's  not  a  thing  one  may  not  lose 
If  one  remain  the  man  he  is. 


So  it  is  held,  so  well  may  be; 

But  down  a  different  track  I  come; 
Of  all  the  bliss  earth  holds  for  me 

I  in  Zuleika  find  the  sum. 

Does  she  expend  her  being  on  me, 
Myself  grows  to  myself  of  cost ; 

Turns  she  away,  then  instantly 
I  to  my  very  self  am  lost. 

Such  day  with  Hatem  all  were  over; 

And  yet  I  should  but  change  my  state ; 
Swift,  should  she  grace  some  happy  lover, 

In  him  I  were  incorporate. 

VIII.     BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA         115 

Fain  would  I  then  be — not  a  rabbi, 
That  I  should  hardly  bargain  for — 

But  a  Firdusi,  Motanabbi, 
Or  at  the  least  the  Emperor.* 


SAY,  'neath  what  sign  celestial 

The  day  doth  lie, 
When  this  fond  heart,  which  yet  mine  own  I  call, 

No  more  away  shall  fly, 
Or,  flying,  may  be  won  by  low  recall, 

Since  near  me  it  shall  lie? 
Upon  the  pillow,  soft  and  sweet,  where  all 
My  heart  by  hers  shall  lie.t 



As  in  the  goldsmith's  little  stall 

Gems  that  flash  many  a  coloured  ray, 

So  pretty  maidens  gather  all 
Around  the  poet  well-nigh  grey. 

*  26th  September  1815. 

1 8th  January  1816.     Posthumously  added. 



Again  to  her  your  strain  belongs, 
Zuleika!  her  we  cannot  bear; 

Not  for  yourself  but  for  your  songs 
We  would — we  needs  must — envy  her. 

For  were  she  hideous  to  behold 
Beauty  by  you  were  o'er  her  shed; 

As  many  a  thing  of  Dschemil  old 
And  his  Boteinah  we  have  read. 

But  since  we  are  each  a  pretty  maid 
Our  portraits  we  should  like  to  see, 

And  if  you  are  pleasant  at  your  trade, 
Know  we  shall  pay,  and  prettily. 


Come,  my  brunette !     Fair  smiles  our  way ! 

Tresses,  with  little  combs  and  great, 
A  pure,  neat,  small  head  decorate, 

As  with  the  mosque  its  cupola. 

You,  little  blond  one,  whom  I  see 
So  spruce,  so  wholly  neat  and  feat, 

You  straightway,  nor  unfittingly, 
Remind  us  of  the  minaret. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA          117 

You  there  behind  them  who  can  use 
Eyes  of  two  different  sorts,  employed 

Each  separately  as  you  may  choose, 
You  it  were  well  I  should  avoid. 

The  lid  drooped  lightly  o'er  one  eye, 
Whelming  the  pupil  from  our  gaze, 

A  very  rogue  of  rogues  betrays, 
Its  fellow  looks  all  honesty. 

If  that  should  fling  the  hook  and  wound, 
This  as  a  healer,  succourer,  shows; 

None  call  I  fortunate  but  those 
With  whom  such  twofold  glance  is  found. 

So  could  I  praise  you  one  and  all, 
With  your  whole  tribe  grow  amorous, 

Since  in  extolling  I  recall 

The  Mistress,  and  portray  her  thus. 


The  poet  would  be  willing  slave, 

For  mastery  doth  from  slavery  spring, 

But  greater  joy  he  cannot  have 
Than  if  his  Love,  herself,  should  sing. 

Has  she,  then,  lordship  over  song, 
The  very  song  that  sways  our  lips? 

Indeed  it  breeds  suspicion  strong 
That  oft  she  moves  in  dark  eclipse. 



Ah,  what  she  can  achieve  who  knows? 

Who  knows  a  mystery  so  profound? 
A  song  born  of  the  heart  outflows 

On  lips  spontaneous  to  resound. 

Songstresses  all,  whoe'er  ye  be, 
None  equals  her  who  soars  above, 

For  she  doth  sing  to  pleasure  me, 
You  but  yourselves  can  sing  and  love. 


See,  see  now !    Of  the  Houris  one 
Here  have  you  feigningly  set  forth ! 

All  may  be  true,  if  only  none 

Plumed  her  as  Houri  on  this  earth.* 



RINGLETS,  lo !  your  captive  here, 
Held  in  the  circuit  of  a  face ! 

Ah,  sweet  serpents,  brown  and  dear, 
I  can  give  you  back  no  grace. 

*Meiningen,  October  1815. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA         119 

Save  a  heart's  unaltering  glow, 
One  bright  bloom  of  earliest  leaves, 

Underneath  the  mists  and  snow 
For  your  sake  an  Etna  heaves. 

As  sombre  mountain  walls  the  beauty 
Of  morn  will  flush,  you  bring  me  shame, 

And  once  more  is  known  to  Hatem 
Springtime's  breath  and  summer's  flame. 

Here!  yet  another  flask,  I  pray! 

To  her  I  drink !    If  she  should  see 
A  little  heap  of  ashes  grey, 

She'll  say — "  He  was  consumed  for  me!  "  * 



NEVER  would  I  lose  thee !    Love 

Gives  strength  to  love.    Thy  truth 
And  might  of  passion  may  it  prove 

The  splendour  of  my  youth. 
Ah,  when  men  praise  my  poet  thus 

What  flattery  to  my  heart ! 
For  life  is  love,  and  genius 

Is  life's  diviner  part.t 

*  Heidelberg,  3oth  September  1815.  In  stanza  3,  line  I,  Mor- 
gtnrbthe  requires  the  rhyme  Gothein.  line  3,  so  above  "beauty" 
ffatem  takes  the  place  of  Gothe  with  the  loss  of  the  rhyme. 

t  By  Marianne  von  Willemer. 



SWEET,  vermeil  lips,  count  it  as  shame 
To  curse  love's  importunities ! 

Has  grief  of  love  another  aim 
Than  what  shall  heal  and  ease? 

Are  your  love  and  you  apart 
Far  as  East  from  West?     The  heart, 
Swift  runner,  o'er  the  waste  will  start. 
'Tis  its  own  guide,  go  where  it  may; 
Bagdad  for  lovers  lies  not  far  away.* 


YOUR  shattered  world  forever  sighs 

To  win  its  lost  integrity ! 
They  beam  on  me,  those  luminous  eyes, 

This  heart,  it  beats  for  me !  t 

0  why  so  many  a  sense  to  inform  the  mind! 
Crowding  reports  confuse  the  ecstasy; 

1  fain  were  deaf  whene'er  I  look  on  thee, 
Whene'er  I  hear  thee,  blind. 

*  Both  from  Oriental  suggestions 
t  Added  in  1827;  written  1815  (?) 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA         121 

So  far  from  thee,  yet  art  thou  near! 

Comes  unforeseen  the  sudden  pain — 
There  swift  I  hear  thy  voice  again, 

At  once  again  thou  art  there ! 


BANISHED  from  day,  bereft  of  light, 

How  dwell  in  joyance  still? 
But  now  my  wish  it  is  to  write, 

To  drink  I  have  no  will. 

If  to  her  side  she  drew  me,  speech 

Was  all  unwonted  then, 
And  as  the  tongue  stood  still  with  each, 

So  now  stands  still  the  pen. 

Courage,  dear  cupbearer!  now  pour 
One  glass — no  word!  no  tone! 

I  say,  "  Remember,"  nothing  more; 
And  all  I  wish  is  known.* 


WHEN  I  remember  thee, 
Saki  straight  questions  me : 

*  1st  October  1815. 


"  Why  so  mute,  Master  dear? 
Now  that  thy  wisdom's  lore, 
And  gladly  more  and  more, 
Thy  cupbearer  would  hear." 

When  I  forget  me 
Under  the  cypress-tree 
Small  store  sets  he  thereon ; 
Yet  in  my  silent  lair 
I  am  as  wise  and  ware 
As  was  King  Solomon.* 



THE  chief  of  the  horsemen 
Why  sends  he  no  courier 
As  day  follows  day? 
His  horses  are  many, 
He  knoweth  to  write. 

Yes,  he  writeth  in  Talik, 
In  Neski  is  skilful, 
With  daintiest  letters 
On  pages  of  silk. 
Would  that  his  writing 
Were  here  in  his  room. 

*  Heidelberg,  September  or  October   1815.     SaJU,  Persian  for 
cupbearer,  here  used  as  a  proper  name. 

VIII.     BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA          123 

The  ailing  one  will  not, 
She  will  not  have  healing, 
So  sweet  is  her  pain; 
She,  for  whom  tidings 
Brought  from  her  lover 
Were  healing,  lies  sick.* 



DOES  he  write  in  Neski, 
Truth  stands  clear  in  sight; 
Does  he  write  in  Talik, 
Tis  for  my  delight: 
One  is  as  the  other, 
Enough,  he  loves!  t 



GLAD  were  I  in  this  book  to  bind  my  sheaf 
Close-compassed,  as  with  others  I  have  done. 

But  how  resolve  to  shorten  word  or  leaf, 
When  love's  sweet  madness  draws  me  on  and 
on?  t 

*  Posthumously  inserted  (1837).     Talik  and  Neski,  two  modes  of 

t  Also  added  in  1837  :  see  last  note, 
t  Added  in  1827. 



THERE,  on  the  laden  sprays, 
Look,  dearest,  where  is  seen 

The  fruit  that  hangs  and  sways, 
In  prickly  shell  and  green. 

Ensphered,  unconscious,  still, 
Longtime  it  hangs  on  high, — 

A  bough,  at  its  sweet  will, 
Rocking  it  patiently. 

Yet  ripens  and  increases 
Ever  the  kernel  brown, 

It  longs  to  feel  the  breezes, 
And  look  upon  the  sun. 

The  shell  bursts;  from  its  tether 
Joyous  it  drops  and  free ; 

So,  for  thy  lap  to  gather, 
Fall  these  my  songs  to  thee.* 


BY  the  glad  fountain  did  I  stand, 
Where  netted  threads  of  water  play ; 

*  Heidelberg,  24th  September  1815. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA         125 

What  held  me  fast  I  could  not  say, 
But  there  in  tracery  of  thy  hand 
My  cipher,  lightly  drawn,  was  shown — 
Down  looked  I,  ah,  with  heart  thine  own ! 

Where  the  canal  ends,  and  the  main 

Alley  is  set  with  trees  a-row, 

I  lift  mine  eyes  once  more,  and  lo! 

In  delicate  carven  lines  again, 

The  letters  of  my  name  are  shown — 

Ah,  stay,  ah,  stay,  with  heart  mine  own ! 


Still  may  the  cypresses  confess 
To  thee,  the  water  leaping,  flowing, 
From  Zuleika  to  Zuleika 
Is  my  coming,  and  my  going.* 


SCARCE  have  I  thee  again,  nor  long 

Regaled  thy  sense  with  kiss  and  song, 

But  mute  and  self -involved  thou  art. 

What  cramps,  weighs  down,  perturbs  thy  heart? 

*  Heidelberg,  22nd  September  1815. 



Zuleika,  must  I  tell  this  thing? 
Not  praise,  alas,  complaint  I  bring! 
Erewhile  my  songs  were  all  thy  store, 
New  ever,  ever  sung  once  more. 

These  songs,  though  I  should  call  them  good, 
Even  so,  what  do  they  but  intrude? 
Not  those  of  Hafiz  nor  Nisami, 
Not  of  Saadi,  not  of  Jami. 

The  elder  choir  to  me  are  known, 
Word  by  word  and  tone  by  tone, 
Ne'er  from  my  memory  outworn ; 
But  these  are  latter  songs  new-born. 

These  were  made  but  yesterday, 
Hast  thou  given  new  pledges,  say? 
Dost  thou  with  gay  audacity 
Breathe  an  alien  breath  toward  me? 

Who  thus  thy  spirit  can  animate? 
Who  in  love's  region  soars  elate? 
Who  lures,  conjures  to  union  thus 
In  song  as  mine  harmonious? 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA         127 


Far,  and  long  time,  went  wandering 
Hatem;  the  maiden  learnt  a  thing; 
So  sweetly  he  sung  her  in  his  hour, 
Now  severance  must  approve  its  power; 
Not  strange  in  truth  should  seem  a  line; 
They  are  Zuleika's,  they  are  thine!  * 


BEHRAMGUR  first  discovered  rhyme,  men  say; 

Stress  of  pure  joy  through  speech  deliverance 

Dilaram,  consort  of  his  hours,  straightway 

Replied  with  kindred  word  and  echoing  sound. 

So,  dearest,  you  were  parted  from  my  side, 
That  rhyme's  sweet»usage  should  become  my  own, 

Unenvious  I  even  of  the  Sassanide, 
Behramgur;  mine  the  art  has  also  grown. 

This  book  you  awaked;  it  is  a  gift  from  you; 

My  full  heart  spake,  for  joy  was  at  its  prime; 
From  your  sweet  life  rang  back  the  answer  true, 

As  glance  to  glance  so  rhyme  replied  to  rhyme. 

*  ;th  October  1815. 


Now  let  these  accents  reach  you  from  afar; 

The  word  arrives,  though  tone  and  sound  disperse ; 
Is  it  not  the  mantle  sown  with  many  a  star? 

Is  it  not  love's  high-transfigured  universe?  * 


TO  yield  me  to  that  glance  of  thine, 
To  yield,  by  lips  and  breast  coerced, 

To  listen  to  thy  voice  divine, 

Was  my  last  pleasure  and  the  first. 

Ah,  'twas  the  last  on  yesternight! 

Then  lamp  and  fire  for  me  were  lost ; 
Each  sportive  word,  my  soul's  delight, 

Grew  burdened  as  with  crime  or  cost, 

Till  upon  Allah's  lips  the  word 
To  reunite  our  lives  appears, 

Sun,  moon  and  world  to  me  afford 
But  opportunity  for  tears,  t 


NAY,  let  me  weep,  girdled  by  night, 
In  boundless  wilderness ! 
The  camels  rest,  their  drivers  are  asleep, 
The  Armenian  watches,  silent,  reckoning; 

*  May  1818.  t  September  1815. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA          129 

And  I,  beside  him,  reckon  o'er  the  miles 
That  part  me  from  Zuleika,  and  repeat 
The  irksome  windings  of  a  lengthening  way. 

Nay,  let  me  weep!    Tears  bring  no  shame; 
The  men  who  weep  are  good; 
Achilles  wept  for  sake  of  his  Briseis ! 
Xerxes  be  wept  the  yet  unslaughtered  host. 
Beside  the  favourite  he  himself  had  slain 
Did  Alexander  weep. 

Nay,  let  me  weep !    Tears  animate  the  dust. 
Already  mist  exhales.* 



WHAT  means  the  stirring?     Does  it  bring— 
This  breeze-glad  tidings  from  the  East? 

The  quickening  motion  of  its  wing 
Fans  cool  a  deeply-wounded  breast. 

Now  with  the  dust  it  fondly  sports, 

Light  clouds  upwhirled  it  holds  in  chase, 

And  to  their  trellised  safe  resorts 
Drives  the  gay  insect  populace. 

*  Posthumously  added  (1837). 


It  lightens  the  sun's  fiery  stress, 

Cools  my  hot  cheeks,  and  in  its  flight 

Kisses  the  vines  that  bravely  dress 
With  vintage-pomp  the  field  and  height. 

A  thousand  greetings  from  my  friend 
Are  in  its  gentle  whisperings  told; 

Ere  shadows  on  these  hills  descend 
Kisses  shall  greet  me  thousandfold. 

So,  wind,  speed  onward !     Aid  bestow 
On  friends  and  folk  from  joy  removed! 

There  yonder,  where  the  high  walls  glow, 
Soon  shall  I  find  the  well-beloved. 

Ah,  the  true  tidings  of  the  heart, 
The  breath  of  love,  the  bliss  to  live, 

To  me  no  lips  save  his  impart, 

To  me  no  breath  save  his  can  give.* 


THE  Sun,  the  Helios  of  the  Greeks, 

Drives  glorious  up  the  heavenly  height ; 

Conquest  o'er  all  the  world  he  seeks, 
Gazing  around,  below,  forthright. 

*  By  Marianne  von  Willemer,  anticipating  a  meeting  with  Goethe 
at  Heidelberg,  23rd  September  1815. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA          131 

The  cloud-born  goddess,  child  divine 
Of  heaven,  he  sees  her  tearful  face, 

For  her  alone  he  seems  to  shine, 
Blind  to  the  glad  ethereal  space. 

Shuddering  with  pain  he  sinketh  low, 
Ampler  her  gush  of  weeping  is ; 

He  flings  a  joyance  o'er  her  woe, 
And  for  each  pearl  gives  kiss  on  kiss. 

Now  deep  she  feels  his  glance's  might, 
And  motionless  she  looks  on  high; 

The  pearls  would  shape  themselves  aright 
For  each  has  caught  his  effigy. 

So,  wreathed  with  colour  and  the  bow, 
Lightens  her  countenance  joy-fraught; 

He  fronts  her,  fain  toward  her  would  go, 
Yet,  yet  alas !  attains  her  not. 

Thus  by  the  pitiless  law  of  fate, 
Beloved,  thou  from  me  art  flown; 

And  were  I  Helios  the  great, 

What  should  avail  my  chariot-throne?  * 

*  Weimar,  7th  November  1815. 




WHAT  pomp  of  phrases  when  the  poet 
Likens  him  to  the  Emperor,  to  the  Sun ! 

Yet  his  sad  face,  he  dare  not  show  it, 
Gliding  through  darkness  lone. 

Whelmed  by  the  clouds,  in  bars  and  streaks, 
Sank  nightward  the  pure  blue  of  day; 

Pallid  and  lean  have  grown  my  cheeks, 
And  my  heart's  tears  are  grey. 

Leave  me  not  thus  to  night,  to  sorrow, 
My  best-beloved,  my  moon- face  bright ! 

O  thou  my  lamp,  my  star  of  morrow, 
O  thou  my  sun,  my  light !  * 


AH,  West- wind,  for  thy  dewy  wing 
How  sorely  must  I  envy  thee ! 

For  tidings  thou  to  him  canst  bring 
Of  grief  his  absence  lays  on  me. 

*  Same  day  as  the  last ;  suggestion  from  Hafiz. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA         133 

The  wavings  of  thy  pinions  light 
Wake  silent  yearning  in  the  heart ; 

From  flowers  and  eyes,  from  wood  and  height, 
Breathed  on  by  thee,  the  quick  tears  start. 

Yet  these  soft  wanderings  of  thy  breath 

Cool  my  hurt  eyelids  and  restore; 
Ah,  I  should  faint  with  pain  to  death 

Hoped  I  not  sight  of  him  once  more. 

Haste  then  to  my  beloved,  haste, 
Speak  to  his  heart  in  gentlest  strain ; 

No  shade  across  his  spirit  cast, 

And  hide,  ah,  hide  from  him  my  pain ! 

Tell  him,  but  tell  with  lips  discreet, 
His  love's  the  life  by  which  I  live ! 

Glad  sense  where  life  with  love  shall  meet 
His  nearness  to  my  heart  will  give.* 


MY  star  of  stars,  is  it  possible 
I  press  thee  to  my  breast  again! 

That  night  of  absence,  dark  it  fell, 
Ah,  what  abyss!  what  bitter  pain! 

*  By  Marianne  von  Willemer  :   in  stanza  2  "eyes,"  Augen,  is 
probably  right,  but  many  editions  read  Auen,  meadows  (near  water). 


Yes,  it  is  thou,  beloved  one, 

Foe  to  my  joys,  sweet  foe  and  dear! 

With  memory  of  my  griefs  foregone 
I  shudder  now  that  thou  art  near. 

When  buried  deep  the  whole  world  lay 

In  God's  eternal  breast,  elate 
He  summoned  forth  the  primal  day, 

Urged  by  the  rapture  to  create. 
He  spake  the  fiat—"  Let  there  be!  " 

And  with  a  dolorous  "  Alas!  " 
Forth  into  actuality 

Outbrake  the  mighty,  labouring  mass ! 

Light  broadened  in  the  firmament, 

The  darkness  shrank  with  timorous  start, 
And  straightway  every  element, 

Each  from  the  other,  drew  apart. 
And  swift,  in  wildered  dream,  from  thence 

Each  drove  towards  the  void  around, 
Dead  matter  in  a  space  immense, 

Without  a  sigh,  without  a  sound. 

Silence  o'er  all !     A  waste  forlorn ! 

Then  first  God  felt  his  solitude, 
And  waked  to  life  the  roseate  morn; 

Pity  for  woe  her  heart  indued; 
She  from  the  murk  and  shadow  drew 

Colours,  a  soft  harmonious  play, 
And  things  had  power  to  love  anew 

Which  each  from  each  had  fallen  away. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA         135 

To  seek  what  is  its  own  of  right 

Doth  every  sundered  atom  yearn, 
And  to  a  life  that  is  infinite 

The  heart  and  eyes  illumined  turn. 
Grasped  sure,  snatched  swift,  alike  their  state, 

If  each  the  other  hold  enfurled; 
No  need  has  Allah  to  create, 

Tis  we  ourselves  create  his  world. 

So  I,  on  morning's  wings  in  flight, 

To  thy  dear  lips  was  swept  along, 
And  with  a  thousand  seals  the  night 

Star-sown  our  covenant  makes  strong; 
Patterns  in  us  two  earth  shall  see, 

Alike  in  pleasure  and  in  pain, 
Nor  shall  a  second  "  Let  there  be!  " 

Divide  a  second  time  us  twain.* 


MISTRESS,  what  means  this  whispering,  say; 

Why  the  light  quiver  of  your  lips? 

And  still  your  murmur  on  the  air, 

Sweeter  than  wine  a  f easter  sips ! 

Think  you  to  those  twinned  lips  you  may 

Allure  another  pretty  pair? 

"  I  am  fain  to  kiss,  to  kiss,  said  I!  " 

*  24th  September  1815,  at  Heidelberg,  after  Marianne's  arrival. 
Goethe's  theory  of  colours  is  involved  in  stanza  4. 


There  through  the  dubious  dusk  how  bright 
Glows  every  blossomed  bough !     Behold, 
How  downward  plays  star  following  star! 
Carbuncle-flashes  thousandfold 
Turn  emerald  through  the  leaves  a-light ; 
Yet  heedless  roams  your  spirit  afar. 
"  I  am  fain  to  kiss,  to  kiss,  said  I !  " 

Your  distant  lover,  he  too  knows 
With  sense  like  yours  this  bitter-sweet, 
Feels  too  the  aching  in  the  bliss ; 
On  the  full  moon  to  gaze  and  greet 
Sometime  ye  made  your  holy  vows. 
This  is  the  hour !  the  moment  this ! 
"  I  am  fain  to  kiss,  to  kiss,  say  I !  "  * 



STRIVE  in  your  tasks  appointed, 

O  diplomats,  nor  spare ! 
Counsel  your  chiefs  anointed 

With  counsel  wise  and  ware; 
The  world's  employ  be  sending 

Dark  ciphers,  soon  and  late, 
Till  whirling  change  have  ending, 

And  crooked  be  made  straight. 

*  1 8th  September  1815  ;  suggestion  from  Hafiz,  as  indicated 
Marianne  in  a  cipher  letter. 

VIII.     BOOK  OF   ZULEIKA          137 

To  me  a  Mistress  tender 

This  cipher  here  has  sent ; 
Glad  am  I,  for  the  sender 

Our  art  did  first  invent ; 
Tis  love's  full  tide  in  regions 

Where  every  sight  is  fair, 
A  gracious,  true  allegiance 

Grown  betwixt  me  and  her. 

It  is  a  nosegay  swelling 

With  myriad  blossoms  pied, 
A  happy,  populous  dwelling, 

Where  angel  spirits  abide; 
A  heaven  it  is  abounding 

With  birds  of  plumage  rare, 
A  sea  with  song  resounding, 

Blown  o'er  by  balmiest  air. 

Yearnings  no  bounds  could  narrow 

Are  here  in  secret  writ, 
Which  in  life's  pith  and  marrow, 

As  shaft  on  shaft,  have  hit. 
This  I  have  told  you  ever 

Was  long  our  pious  due; 
The  art  if  you  discover 

Be  mute,  and  use  it  too !  * 

*  2 ist  September  1815.    The  cipher  used  by  Goethe  and  Marianne 
was  carried  on  by  references  to  passages  of  Hafiz. 




A  MIRROR'S  mine  wherein  I  glance 

Gladly  as  if  upon 
My  breast  with  double  brilliance 

The  Emperor's  order  shone ; 
Not  that  with  fond  self-pleasing  eye 

I  seek  me  everywhere, 
But  loving  well  society, 

And  sure  to  find  it  there. 

Through  the  hushed,  widowed  house  I  go, 

Then  toward  the  mirror  move, 
And  ere  I  think  to  find  me,  lo, 

Forth  peeps  my  little  Love ! 
I  turn  me  round  in  haste,  but  fled 

Is  she  I  saw  so  plain; 
Then  in  my  songs  I  look  instead, 

And  straight  she  is  there  again ! 

And  ever  fairer  songs  I  write, 
And  to  my  liking  more; 

In  scorner's  and  in  critic's  spite 
Each  day's  gain  tell  I  o'er. 

VIII.     BOOK   OF   ZULEIKA         139 

With  costliest  work  her  picture  bordered 

Grows  statelier  to  the  eye, 
In  golden  wreath  of  roses  ordered, 

And  frame  of  azure  dye.* 



SONG,  with  what  inmost  happiness 
Thy  sense  upon  my  heart  doth  bide ! 

Sweetly  thou  seemest  to  confess 
That  I  am  at  his  side; 

That  to  his  thought  I  am  always  near, 
That  he  doth  send  from  ways  remote 

The  blessing  of  his  love  to  her, 
Who  yields  a  life  devote. 

Yes,  friend,  my  heart — thy  glass — reveals 
Thyself  to  thee  in  this  my  breast. 

Whereon  thou  hast  set  thy  faithful  seals, 
Kiss  upon  kiss  impressed. 

Sweet  fancyings,  clearest  truth — they  wove 
Round  me  a  chain  of  sympathy, 

The  pure  embodied  light  of  love, 
In  garb  of  poesy,  f 

*  ?  26th  October  1815.  Stanza  2,  "widowed  house"  has  no 
reference  to  the  death  of  Goethe's  wife,  which  occurred  at  a  date 
later  than  the  poem.  The  "mirror"  is  a  symbol  of  the  poems  of 
the  Divan. 

f  Marianne's  reply  to  the  last ;  rehandled  by  Goethe. 



LEAVE  Alexander  his  world-mirror !     What 
The  sights  it  showed?     Far  off  and  yet  more  far 

Races  of  tranquil  men  the  conqueror  sought 
To  harry  with  the  rest  in  desperate  war. 

But  thou  no  further  nor  toward  strange  things 
strive ! 

Sing  me  the  spoils  that  song  has  made  thine  own. 
Think  only  that  I  love  thee,  that  I  live, 

Think  of  thy  might  and  of  my  heart  o'erthrown.* 


FAIR  is  the  world  to  view,  go  where  we  may; 
The  poet's  world  fairer  and  lovelier  seems; 
On  the  pranked  fields,  sun-bright  or  silver-grey, 
Morn,  noon  and  night  what  lights!  what  wan- 
dering gleams ! 

Now  all  shows  glorious ;  if  it  would  but  stay ! 
I  look  through  love's  perspective-glass  to-day,  f 

No  more  on  silken  leaf 
Write  I  symmetric  rhymes; 

*  Inserted  in  1827.  t  7th  February  1815. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA          141 

No  more  encircle  them 

With  golden  tendrils; 

Traced  in  the  dust  that  has  no  fixity, 

The  wind  sweeps  o'er  them;    but  their  virtue 


Charmed  to  the  soil, 
Down  to  the  fixed  centre  of  the  earth. 
Here  will  the  wanderer  come, 
The  lover.     If  he  tread 
This  spot,  a  quiver  thrills 
Through  all  his  limbs : — 
"  Here  before  me  some  lover  loved. 
Was  it  Medschnun,  the  tender? 
Ferhad,  the  mighty?     Dschemil,  the  unchanging? 
Or  one  of  all  those  thousands, 
The  fortunate-unfortunate? 
He  loved!     Like  him  I  love, 
His  presence  I  divined/' 
But  thou,  Zuleika,  now 
Dost  rest  on  that  soft  pillow 
Which  I  disposed  for  thee,  which  I  made  fair. 
Waking,    thou   too    art    thrilled    through   every 

limb; — 

"  It  is  he,  he  calls  me,  Hatem. 
And  I,  I  call  thee  too,  O  Hatem!     Hatem."  * 

*  Posthumously  added  (1837). 



THYSELF  in  thousand  forms  thou  mayst  conceal, 
Yet  all-beloved,  straight  thou  art  known  to  me ; 

Thou  mayst  fling  over  thee  some  magic  veil, 
Thou,  the  All-present,  straight  art  known  to  me. 

In  the  young  cypress's  most  pure  aspiring, 
All-burgeoning-beauty,  straight  thou  art  known 
to  me; 

In  the  canals'  pure  life  of  waves  untiring, 
Thou,  All-caressing,  straight  art  known  to  me. 

If  beamlike  flung  in  air  the  fount  escape, 
How  gladly,  All-sportive,  thou  art  known  to  me; 

If  the  cloud  shape  itself  but  to  reshape, 
All  man-fold,  in  it  thou  art  known  to  me. 

In  the  pied  carpet  of  the  meadow  shining, 
All-diverse-starred,  how  fair  thou  art  known 
to  me; 

Does  ivy  fling  her  thousand  arms  entwining, 
O  All-embracing,  there  thou  art  known  to  me. 

When  on  the  mount  morn  kindles,  thou  straight- 

The  All-rejoicing,  greeted  art  by  me; 
When  o'er  me  deepens  the  pure  dome  of  day, 

All-heart-dilating,  thou  art  breathed  by  me. 

VIII.    BOOK  OF  ZULEIKA          143 

What  lore  through  outward  sense  or  inward  came, 
Through  thee,  All-lessening,  has  been  known 
to  me; 

And  Allah's  hundred  names  if  I  should  name, 
A  name  for  thee  with  each  would  sound  to  me.* 

*  1 4th  March  1815.    The  Ghazel  is  a  litany  of  love  parallel  to  the 
invocation  of  Allah  by  his  ninety-nine  other  names. 

IX.    BOOK  OF  THE  CUPBEARER       145 



YES,  in  the  tavern  I  too  have  been  seated, 
For  me,  as  for  the  rest,  the  wine  was  meted; 
They  prattled,  cried,  dealt  with  the  hour's  affair, 
Were  glad  or  sad  with  each  day's  joy  or  care; 
But  I,  rejoicing  in  my  inmost  heart, 
With  thought  of  my  beloved,  sat  apart. 
How  does  she  love?     I  am  not  well  aware; 
But  what  should  trouble  me?  my  soul  I  gave 
Constant  to  one,  would  hang  on  her  a  slave  ! 
Where  was  the  parchment,  where  the  style,  to  show 
All  that  lay  in  me?     Yet  'twas  so!  ay,  so!  * 


I  SIT  alone  ; 

Are  luckier  quarters  known? 

Wine  —  better  none  — 

I  drink  alone  ; 

*  Before  27th  September  1815. 


No  man  sets  bounds  to  me ; 

So  move  my  own  thoughts  free.* 

Muley  the  thief,  attained  a  point  so  rare 
He  wrote  when  drunk,  and  every  letter  fair. 


IF  from  Eternity  the  Koran  be — 
Of  that  inquire  I  not. 

If  one  of  God's  created  things  it  be- 
That  truly  know  I  not. 

That  the  Koran  the  Book  of  books  must  be, 
I  hold  as  faith  to  duteous  Moslems  taught. 

But  that  wine  from  Eternity  must  be, 
On  that  head  doubt  I  not. 

Created  ere  the  angels?     That  may  be, 
And  no  mere  poet's  tale  with  fable  fraught, 

The  drinker  sure,  however  this  may  be, 

Looks  in  God's  face,  to  livelier  joyance  wrought,  f 


DRUNK  we  must  be,  nor  one  escape ! 

Youth's  drunkenness  without  the  grape ; 

If  the  old  men  drink  back  youth,  why  thus 

The  virtue  of  it  shows  marvellous; 

Sweet  life  has  a  care  black  cares  to  muster, 

And  the  miner  of  care's  is  the  vine-tree's  cluster.}: 

*  Before  2ist  June  1818.  t  2Oth  May  1815. 

t  Before  joth  May  1815. 

IX.    BOOK  OF  THE  CUPBEARER       147 

No  place  for  question  on  that  head! 

Sternly  is  wine  prohibited. 

But  if  it  must  be  drunk,  at  least 

Drink  only  what  is  of  the  best ! 

Damned  for  poor  stuff  that  turns  you  sick 

Were  to  be  twice  a  heretic.* 

Say  with  what  wine 
His  drunken  joys  did  Alexander  take? 
My  latest  spark  of  life  I'd  stake, 
Twas  not  as  good  as  mine. 

Wine  can't  agree  with  you — no  question ; 
The  doctor's  silence  meant  "  Abstain  "; 
A  little  only  spoils  digestion, 
Too  much  would  heat  the  brain. 

Do  you  then  know  my  darling's  name? 
Do  you  know  what  vintage  I  acclaim? 

WHILE  one  is  sober 
Things  ill  may  delight, 

When  one  has  drunken 
He  knows  what  is  right  ; 

*  Before  3Oth  May  1815. 


Only  excess  comes, 

And  quickly,  'tis  true ; 
O  Hafiz,  instruct  me, 

How  seemed  it  to  you? 

Nor  flies  it  too  high 

The  belief  I  maintain; 
He  that's  no  drinker 

From  love  should  refrain; 
But,  you  drinkers,  o'errate  not 

Yourselves  on  this  score, 
He  that's  no  lover 

Should  drink  nevermore.* 


WHY  these  ungracious  airs  you  often  show? 


The  body  is  a  prison-house,  you  know; 

Within  it  was  the  free  soul  lured  to  come, 

There  where  it  cannot  get  bare  elbow-room. 

Would  it  escape  and  wander  free  again, 

Round  even  the  prison  they  enmesh  a  chain ; 

Poor  soul!  she  thus  is  doubly  wronged  and 

And  hence  her  strange  demeanour,  times  un- 
numbered, t 

*  26th  July  1814.  f  24th  May  1814. 

IX.    BOOK  OF  THE  CUPBEARER     149 


IF  then  the  body  be  this  prison-house, 
Why  is  the  prison  eager  for  carouse? 
The  soul  within  is  well  enough  bestead, 
Pleased  there  to  stay  and  keep  a  sober  head; 
But  now  a  flask  of  wine  must  enter  in, 
And  straight  a  second  follows  from  the  bin. 
Until  the  soul  will  stand  the  thing  no  more, 
And  smashes  them  to  sherds  against  the  door.* 



CLOWN,  do  not  clap  the  vessel  that  you  bear 
In  such  rough  fashion  here  beneath  my  nose ! 
Who  serves  me  wine  should  smile  with  gracious  air, 
Else  troubled  in  the  glass  the  Eilfer  grows,  f 


Come  in,  come  in,  my  boy  so  sweet  and  fair ! 
Why  dost  thou  stand  upon  the  threshold  there? 
Thou  shalt  be  my  cupbearer  from  to-night, 
So  every  wine  tastes  well  and  sparkles  bright. 

*  27th  May  1814.  t  Eilfer t  wine  of  the  year  eleven. 




You,  with  your  tossing  ringlets  brown, 
Sly  hussy,  hence !  off  with  you  now ! 

When  for  my  master  wine  I  pour 
His  thanks  are  kisses  on  my  brow. 

But  you,  I'd  wager  it,  are  not 

Content  with  that  to  make  an  end; 

Those  cheeks  of  yours,  your  breast,  believe, 
Will  only  weary  out  my  friend. 

Think  you,  forsooth,  your  tricks  to  try, 
That  shamefaced  thus  to  flight  you  take  r 

Upon  the  threshold  I  would  lie, 

And,  if  you  glide  toward  him,  awake.* 

UPON  the  score  of  drunkenness 
They  have  blamed  us  many  a  day, 

And  long  while  of  our  drunkenness 
Had  not  enough  to  say. 

Most  folk,  in  case  of  drunkenness, 
Lie  lost  till  morn  is  grey, 

*  Frankfurt,  October  1814. 


But  all  the  night  my  drunkenness 

Drove  me  a  wildered  way ; 
It  is  in  truth  love's  drunkenness 

Which  griefs  on  me  doth  lay, 
From  night  to  day,  from  day  to  night 

Thrilling  my  heart  alway. 
My  heart  that  in  song's  drunkenness 

Swells  and  would  flight  essay, 
Upborne  where  no  tame  drunkenness 

Dare  soar  in  rival  play, 
Love's,  Song's,  the  Wiriecup's  drunkenness, 

Whether  come  night  or  day, 
Is  life's  divinest  drunkenness, 

Which  makes  me  grieved  and  gay. 


WHERE  all  good  things  on  earth  seem  mine, 

There  stands  my  flask  of  Eilfer; 
In  Neckar  vale,  by  Main  and  Rhine 

Smiling  they  bring  me  Eilfer. 
And  many  a  gallant  man  they  name 

Less  often  than  the  Eilfer; 
He  served  his  race,  yet  all  the  same 

He  never  could  be  Eilfer. 
Good  Princes  such  repute  have  had 

Almost  as  has  the  Eilfer; 
If  deeds  of  theirs  have  made  us  glad, 

Huzza !  they  live  in  Eilfer. 


And  many  a  name  I  whisper  low, 

And  silent  sip  my  Eilfer; 
They  know  it,  if  none  other  know; 

Then  first  tastes  right  my  Eilfer; 
Of  those  my  songs  in  praise  they  speak 

Almost  as  of  the  Eilfer; 
And  flowers  and  leafy  sprays  they  break 

Crowning  me  and  the  Eilfer. 
All  this  were  blessing  rich  and  rare 

(Gladly  I'd  share  the  Eilfer) 
If  Hafis  should  but  take  his  share, 

And  quaff  with  me  the  Eilfer; 
Therefore  to  Paradise  I  fleet, 

Where  ne'er,  alas,  of  Eilfer 
The  faithful  drink !     May  it  be  sweet, 

Heaven's  wine!  yet  'tis  not  Eilfer. 
Quick,  Hafis,  quick,  and  hasten  thence, 

A  bumper's  here  of  Eilfer.* 


You  little  rogue,  you! 

That  I  should  keep  my  senses  clear 

Concerns  me  most  of  all ; 

And  so  your  presence  here 

Pleases  me  well, 

My  dearest  boy, 

Drunk  though  I  be.f 

*  Eilfer,  wine  of  the  year  eleven.     Two  forms  of  the  verse  exist, 
1815  and  this  of  1816.  t  Added  in  1827. 



IN  the  wine-tavern,  ere  dawn  flushed  the  sky, 
What    tumult!     Host   and   maids,    torches   and 

crowd ! 

A  world  of  brawling !     Insults  fly ! 
Flutes  shrill,  and  tabors  rattle  loud; 
A  wild  affair!     And  I,  elate  of  heart 
With  life  and  love,  taking  in  all  my  part. 

Men  always  spy  a  fault  in  me,  and  say 

I  learn  no  manners,  shun  the  moral  rules; 

At  least  I  wisely  keep  me  far  away 

From  wranglings  of  the  doctors  and  the  schools.* 



WHAT  a  plight,  master!     Late  to-day, 

And  shambling  from  your  room  you  came 
The  Persians  call  this  Bidamag  buden, 

(The  blues  may  be  the  English  name. 

{Caterwauls  is  the  German  name. 

*  First  published  in  1827. 



Dear  lad,  pray  leave  me  for  the  present ! 

To  pleasure  me  the  whole  world  fails, 
The  flush  and  fragrance  of  the  roses, 

The  singing  of  the  nightingales. 


'Tis  this  itself  that  I  would  treat, 
Nor  should  it  prove  intractable; 

Here!  these  fresh  almonds  taste  and  eat, 
And  wine  once  more  will  relish  well ! 

Then  on  the  terrace  I  would  steep 
Your  sense  in  the  reviving  air, 

And  in  your  eyes  gaze  long  and  deep, 
Till  you  shall  kiss  the  cupbearer. 

Earth's  not  the  cavern  you  suppose, 
With  brood  and  nest  'tis  ever  gay, 

Rose- wafts  and  attar  of  the  rose, 
And  bulbul  sings  as  yesterday.* 


THIS  ill-favoured  slut, 
The  wanton  one 
They  name  the  World, 

*  October    1814.       Line   4,   "Deutsche  sagen    Katzenjammer " 
(originally  named  "  Katzenjammer"). 


Me  too  she  has  deceived 

Like  all  the  rest. 

My  faith  she  robbed  me  of, 

And  then  of  hope 

Last,  she  would  filch  my  love. 

But  there  I  broke  away, 

The  treasure  I  had  saved 

To  make  for  ever  sure, 

Wisely  I  parted  it 

Twixt  Saki  and  Zuleika. 

Each  of  the  pair 

In  emulation  vies 

To  pay  the  higher  interest, 

Richer  than  ever  have  I  grown. 

Faith  have  I  back  again! 

Faith  in  Zuleika's  love ! 

And  in  the  winecup  Saki  grants  to  me 

Glorious  sensation  of  the  present  hour; 

Here  what  should  hope  desire !  * 



TO-DAY  of  meat  you  have  taken  toll, 
And  drunk  a  yet  more  liberal  store; 

What  you  forgot  into  the  bowl; 
The  relics  of  your  feast,  I  pour. 

*  Weimar,  25th  October  1815. 


"  Swankin  "  this  mingled  draught  we  name; 

The  sated  guest  oft  finds  it  good ! 
I  bear  the  vessel  to  my  swan, 

Who  preens  his  wings  to  breast  the  flood. 

Yet  we  are  told  the  singing  bird 

Doth  his  own  requiem  intend; 
By  me  may  never  song  be  heard 

If  so  it  should  presage  your  end.* 



MASTER,  they  name  you  the  great  poet, 
When  in  the  market-place  you  appear; 

Gladly  I  list  while  you  are  singing, 
When  silent,  still  I  lend  my  ear. 

But  best  I  love  you  for  your  kiss, 
Pledge  of  remembrance  when  we  part, 

For  words  must  pass  away,  and  this 
Dwells  ever  in  my  inmost  heart. 

They  have  their  worth,  the  rhymes  which  throng; 

Hushed  thought  is  better  and  more  dear ; 
Give  then  to  other  folk  your  song, 

Give  silence  to  the  cupbearer.  | 

*  October  1814  or  a  little  later.    Line  5,  "  Swankin,"  Schwiinchtn, 
on  which  the  play  of  words  turns, 
t  Same  date  as  last. 



I'LL  have  another  bowl!     Here,  skinker! 


Master,  you  have  had  enough.     They  all 
Give  you  one  name  now — the  wild  drinker. 

But  did  you  ever  see  me  fall? 

Mahommed  has  forbidden. 



There's  none  to  hear  or  take's  to  task, 
I'll  tell  you. 


Once  you  choose  to  speak, 
It  is  but  little  I  need  ask. 



In  your  ear!     Moslems  such  as  we 
Must  bow  to  abstinence  as  befits  ; 
While,  in  his  sacred  ardour,  he 
Would  choose  alone  to  lose  his  wits !  * 



O  MASTER,  think,  'mid  cups  and  mirth 
What  glancing  flame  is  round  you  shed ! 

A  thousand  crackling  sparks  flash  forth, 
Nor  know  you  where  the  fire  may  spread. 

Then,  when  your  fist  the  table  smites, 

Shavelings  in  corners  I  espy, 
Who  lurk  and  sneak  like  hypocrites, 

While  all  your  heart  doth  open  lie. 

Tell  me  why  youth,  not  yet  made  free 
From  faults  of  youth,  should  be  more  sage, 

In  virtue's  very  penury, 
More  skilled  in  prudence  than  old  age. 

All  things,  that  to  the  heavens  belong 

Or  earth,  to  you  lie  manifest, 
Nor  care  you  to  conceal  the  throng 

That  turmoils  ever  in  your  breast. 

*  23rd  February  1815. 



Therefore,  dear  lad,  to  you  be  given 
Wisdom  with  youth;  let  both  endure! 

Song  is  indeed  a  gift  from  heaven, 
Yet  in  the  earthly  life  a  lure. 

To  nurse  oneself  in  secret  now, 
Blabbing  perpetual  ere  long! 

Discreet  a  poet  cannot  grow, 

Song's  a  betrayal  since  'tis  song.* 




THE  sun  is  set,  but  still  a  glow 

Makes  bright  the  west  with  lingering  day; 
How  long  a  time,  I  fain  would  know, 

Will  yet  the  golden  shimmer  stay. 


Wait  would  I,  master,  if  I  might, 
Keeping  my  watch  outside  this  tent, 

And  when  Night  queens  it  o'er  the  light, 
Come  straight  and  tell  you  the  event. 

*  Added  in  1827. 


I  know  that  this  o'erhanging  sky, 

This  infinite,  you  love  to  view, 
While  yonder  cressets  magnify 

Each  one  the  other  in  the  blue. 

And  who  flames  brightest  will  but  say — 
"  Here  in  my  allotted  place  I  shine; 

Willed  God  that  you  a  broader  ray 

Should  cast,  your  lamps  were  bright  as  mine." 

Glorious  with  God  is  everything, 

Because  Himself  is  best  of  all  ; 
And  so  all  birds  are  slumbering, 

Each  in  his  nest,  or  great  or  small ; 

And  one,  where  yonder  cypress  flings 

A  branch,  is  haply  perching  too, 
Held  in  the  warm  wind's  leading-strings, 

Till  drops  thef  resh  aerial  dew. 

Such  lore  you  taught  me,  every  word, 

Such  lore  or  other  of  like  kind, 
And  nothing  that  I  once  have  heard, 

From  you  will  pass  from  out  my  mind. 

An  owl  for  your  sake,  I  would  cower 

Here  on  the  terrace  in  the  dark, 
Till  the  north  constellation's  hour, 

With  twin  revolving,  I  shall  mark. 


That  will  be  midnight,  when  you  oft 

Rouse  me  untimely.     O  my  soul ! 
What  pomp  when  you  shall  gaze  aloft 

With  me  in  wonder  at  the  whole! 


True;  'mid  the  embalmed  garden  flowers 
Sings  Bulbul  many  a  whole  night  through, 

But  you  might  linger  all  the  hours 
Ere  darkness  now  its  strength  could  show. 

For  in  these  days  since  Flora  came, 

Aurora,  the  grass-widow — thus 
The  folk  of  Greece  the  goddess  name — 

Burns  in  her  love  for  Hesperus. 

Nay,  turn  and  look!  she  comes,  how  swift! 

Across  the  boundless  flowery  field, 
On  either  hand  grows  bright  the  lift, 

Yes,  night,  flung  back,  is  forced  to  yield. 

On  light  and  roseate  footing  sped, 

In  vain  pursuit  she  wandereth 
Of  him,  who  at  the  sunrise  fled; 

Ah,  feel  you  not  an  amorous  breath? 

Haste,  dearest  boy,  some  deep  recess, 
With  doors  made  fast,  be  your  defence, 

Lest  she  misdeem  your  loveliness 
For  Hesperus;  and  bear  you  hence.* 

*  1 6th  December  1814. 




ME  thy  long-hoped-for  gift  at  last  contents, 
God's  presence  known  in  all  the  elements ; 
How  lovingly  thou  givest  it !  yet  above 
All  other  things  the  loveliest  is  thy  love. 


Sweetly  he  sleeps,  and  sleep  is  fairly  earned! 
Dear  boy,  thou  hast  poured  the  wine  the  master 

From  friend  and  teacher,  thou,  so  young,  hast 


Unforced,  unpunished,  all  the  old  man  thinks. 
Now  the  delicious  tide  of  health  is  flush 
In  every  limb;  new  life  comes  momently; 
I  drink  once  more;  but  not  a  sound!  hush!  hush! 
That,  wakening  not,  I  may  have  joy  in  thee.* 

*  Added  in  1827. 

X.    BOOK  OF  PARABLES  163 



FROM  heaven  there  fell  in  the  wild,  gulfing  wave 
A  tremulous  drop,  now  smit  by  ocean's  wrath. 
God,  seeing  its  modest  courage,  born  of  faith, 
As  guerdon  meet  strength  and  endurance  gave. 
Enclosed  it  lay  within  a  quiet  shell ; 
And  now — O  high  reward !  ageless  renown ! — 
A  pearl  it  gleams  upon  our  Emperor's  crown, 
With  lustre  soft  and  eye-beam  amiable.* 


BULBUL  sang  darkling;  through  the  gusty  shower 
The  song  drove  on  to  Allah's  throne  of  light ; 
In  recompense  for  song  of  such  sweet  might 
A  golden  cage  shut-fast  he  made  her  bower, — 
So  name  our  mortal  body — and  ill  at  ease 
She  is,  indeed,  thus  cabined  and  confined; 
But  when  she  ponders  with  the  wiser  mind, 
Once  more  the  sweet  soul  sings,  and  will  not  cease,  f 

*  Close  of  1814  or  opening  of  1815. 

t  Between  I2th  December  1814  and  3Oth  May  1815. 



ONCE  a  fair  vase  I  broke,  and  nigh 

Desperate  in  my  distress, 
"  Consigned  to  all  the  fiends/'  cried  I, 

"  Be  hurry  and  clumsiness!  " 
My  rage  once  spent,  each  sorry  sherd 

Gathering  my  tears  outburst ; 
God  pitied  me,  and  at  a  word 

'Twas  whole  as  at  the  first.* 


HIGH-BORN,  the  loveliest  of  her  clan, 

A  pearl,  the  shell  set  free, 
Spake  to  the  jeweller,  worthy  man:— 

"  I  am  lost,  am  lost !  "  cried  she. 
"  You  pierce  me;  this  fair  rounded  shape 

Must  in  a  trice  be  shattered; 
I,  with  my  sisters,  as  may  hap, 

To  base  things  shall  be  fettered." 

"  My  profit's  now  my  sole  concern, 

Forgive  me  and  forget ; 
How,  if  in  this  I  were  not  stern, 

E'er  string  the  carcanet."  t 

*  Added  in  1827  ;  from  Chardin's  Travels, 
f  Not  later  than  3<Dth  May  1815. 

X.    BOOK  OF  PARABLES  165 

IN  the  Koran,  and  to  my  glad  surprise, 
A  peacock's  feather  lying  met  mine  eyes; 
O  welcome  be  thou  to  the  sacred  place 
Creature  of  earth,  adorned  with  costliest  grace ! 
From  thee  as  from  the  stars  of  heaven  we  learn 
God's  greatness  in  things  little  to  discern; 
He,  who  His  worlds  o'erlooketh  from  on  high, 
Has  here  impressed  the  likeness  of  His  eye ; 
And  decked  a  trivial  plume  so  gloriously 
That  kings  in  vain,  their  splendour  to  advance, 
Might  imitate  the  bird's  magnificence. 
Meek  joyance  in  fair  fame  be  ever  thine, 
So  art  thou  worthy  of  the  holy  shrine.* 


AN  Emperor  had  two  cashiers, 

One  for  getting,  one  for  spending; 

From  these  hands  gold  dropped  never-ending, 

Those  knew  not  where  to  come  by  more. 

He  died  who  spent;  nor  knew  the  monarch  which 

Servant  to  fill  the  place  with;  ere  he  found  him, 

While  he  had  scarcely  time  to  look  around  him, 

He  who  took  in  receipts  grew  hugely  rich; 

With  gold  they  scarce  could  move  about, 

Because  for  one  day  none  was  handed  out. 

•    *  i;th  March  1815. 


Then  first  before  the  Emperor  clear  it  lay 
What  was  to  blame  for  all  that  went  astray; 
WTell  knew  he  how  to  profit  by  the  case, 
And  never  after  did  he  fill  the  place.* 


SPAKE  to  the  kettle  the  new  pot— 
"  What  a  black  belly  you  have  got!  " 
Tis  one  of  our  old  kitchen  ways ; 
Come,  come,  my  polished  idiot, 
Soon  shall  your  pride  be  in  worse  case ! 
If  your  handle  show  a  shining  face, 
Do  not  too  much  lift  up  your  heart, 
Look  rather  to  your  hinder  part !  | 


ALL  men,  the  little  and  the  great, 
Keep  spinning  cobwebs  delicate ; 
Where,  in  high  pomp,  with  hooked  claws, 
They  sit  at  midmost  of  the  gauze. 
Let  but  the  besom  twirl  anon, 
They  cry—  "  Unheard  of  outrage  done! 
The  lordliest  palace  ruined  and  gone!  "  t 

*  25th  February  1815. 

t  5th  September  1818  ;  added  to  the  Divan  in  1827. 

£  i;th  March  1815. 

X.    BOOK  OF   PARABLES  167 


THE  Gospel  script  that  lives  alway 

Jesus  from  heaven  descending  brought; 

He  read  for  young  men,  night  and  day; 

The  word  divine  struck  home  and  wrought. 

To  heaven  He  rose,  and  bore  it  hence, 

But  they  had  taken  it  to  heart, 

And  each,  as  he  had  caught  the  sense, 

Set  it  all  down  part  after  part; 

With  variance — doth  that  signify? 

Each  had  not  the  like  faculty; 

Yet  every  Christian  at  his  need 

Till  doomsday  thence  may  take  and  feed.* 


IT  is  GOOD 

IN  Paradise,  where  moonbeams  played, 
Jehovah  found  in  slumber  deep 
Adam  far  sunk;  and  lightly  laid 
By  him  a  little  Eve  asleep. 
In  earthly  bounds  lay  there  at  rest 
Two  of  God's  thoughts — the  loveliest ! 
"  Good!  " — guerdoning  Himself,  He  cried, 
And  passed  with  lingering  look  aside. 

*  24th  May  1815. 


No  wonder  at  our  glad  amaze 

When  eye  meets  eye  in  quickening  gaze, 

As  if  we  had  flown  through  regions  far 

Near  Him  to  be,  whose  thoughts  we  are. 

If  He  should  call  us,  be  it  so, 

Let  but  the  summons  be  for  two ! 

Held  in  these  arms,  thy  bounds,  there  rest 

Thou  dearest  of  God's  thoughts  and  best.* 

*  Same  date  as  the  last. 

XI.    BOOK  OF  THE  PARSERS      169 




BRETHREN,  what  legacy  should  you  receive 
From  a  poor  pious  man,  now  taking  leave, 
Whom  you,  his  followers,  bore  with  and  sustained, 
Tending  and  honouring  him  while  life  remained? 

When  ofttimes  we  have  seen  our  sovereign  ride, 
His  raiment  golden,  gold  on  every  side, 
Himself  and  his  great  lords  with  jewels  bedight, 
Sown  thick  as  hailstones,  have  you  at  such  sight 

Never  within  your  breast  felt  envy  rise? 
Or  did  a  nobler  Presence  feast  your  eyes, 
When  on  the  wings  of  morn  you  saw  ascend, 
Above  the  countless  peaks  of  Darnavend 

The  sun's  bowed  rim?     What  man,  if  this  were 

Could  stay  from  gazing?     I  have  known,  have 


A  thousand  times,  living  so  many  a  day, 
My  soul,  with  the  sun's  coming,  borne  away. 


God  to  behold  enthroned,  the  King  of  Kings, 
To  name  him  Master  of  life's  fountain-springs 
To  bear  me  worthy  of  such  glorious  sight, 
And  forward  fare  in  highway  of  His  light. 

And  when  the  fiery  disk  was  full  outlined, 
I  stood  as  if  in  darkness,  stricken  blind, 
I  smote  my  breast,  and  all  my  life  a-glow, 
Cast  me  to  earth  with  forehead  bended  low. 

And  now  be  this  a  sacred  legacy, 
Brethren,  for  your  good-will  and  memory,— 
Daily  fulfilment  of  hard  services  ; 
There  needs  no  revelation  saving  this. 

Do  innocent  hands  stir  of  a  babe  newborn, 
Then  to  the  sun  at  once  the  infant  turn ; 
Body  and  soul  dip  in  the  fiery  bath; 
So  of  each  morning's  grace  some  sense  he  hath. 

To  creatures  that  have  life  yield  up  your  dead ; 
Over  the  beast  let  marl  and  clay  be  spread; 
The  thing  that  shall  be  thought  unclean  by  you, 
Far  as  your  power  doth  reach,  that  hide  from  view. 

Till,  dress,  your  field  to  shining  cleanliness, 
That  the  sun  gladly  may  your  labour  bless; 
For  trees  you  plant,  symmetric  rows  contrive; 
What  is  well-ordered  He  permits  to  thrive. 

XL    BOOK  OF  THE  PARSERS      171 

Water  in  your  canals  should  never  flow 
Impure,  or  languish  with  a  motion  slow; 
As  from  its  mountain-ranges  Senderud 
Springs  pure,  so  stainless  it  should  reach  the  flood. 

The  soft  descent  of  water  not  to  slack, 
Have  care  with  diligence  to  clear  its  track; 
Reed,  sedge,  the  salamander  and  the  eft, 
Creatures  deform,  see  that  not  one  be  left. 

Water  and  earth  if  thus  you  should  refine 
The  sun  throughout  the  air  will  gladly  shine, 
There  to  bring  life,  meeting  reception  due, 
And,  bringing  life,  add  health  and  strength  thereto. 

Thus  having  tasked  yourselves  from  toil  to  toil 
Take  comfort;  all  your  world  is  free  from  soil; 
And  man,  advanced  to  priesthood,  has  the  right 
Boldly  God's  image  from  the  flint  to  smite. 

When  the  flame  leaps,  with  joy  its  presence  own; 
Clear  is  the  night,  supple  your  limbs  have  grown; 
There  by  the  hearth,  where  fire  has  virtuous  use, 
Mellow  of  beast  and  plant  the  sap  or  juice. 

If  wood  you  thither  drag,  with  joy  be  it  done. 
You  bear  the  seeds  of  a  terrestrial  sun; 
If  you  pluck  pambeh  say  in  a  neighbour  ear — 
"  This  as  a  wick  the  holy  thing  shall  bear." 


You  shall,  in  every  lamp  that  flameth  bright, 
Perceive  the  reflex  of  a  higher  light ; 
Never  mishap  will  come  your  foot  to  stay 
From  honouring  God's  throne  at  break  of  day. 

There  is  our  being's  seal  imperial, 
Pure  glass  of  God  for  us  and  angels  all ; 
What  stammers  here  in  praise  of  the  Most  High, 
From  gyre  to  gyre  is  gathered  to  the  sky. 

From  Senderud's  banks  my  soul  is  fain  to  wend, 
And  beat  its  wings  upward  to  Darnavend, 
With  joy  to  meet  the  Sun  that  riseth  now, 
And  thence  in  blessing  over  you  to  bow.* 


IF  man  this  earth  of  ours  holds  dear 
Because  on  it  the  sun  doth  shine, 
If  he  delight  him  in  the  vine 
That  'neath  the  keen  knife  drops  a  tear- 
Because  it  feels  the  ripened  juice, 
Which  doth  a  flagging  world  restore, 
Will  quicken  many  a  power  to  use, 
But  haply  drown  or  stifle  more— 

*  I3th  March  1815. 

XL    BOOK   OF  THE  PARSERS      173 

He  knows  how  he  should  thank  that  glow 
Which  brings  large  life  to  everything; 
The  stammering  sot  reels  to  and  fro, 
The  temperate  will  rejoice  and  sing.* 

*  Eisenach,  24th  May  1815. 

XII.    BOOK  OF  PARADISE          175 





HE,  the  true  Moslem,  speaks  of  Paradise 
As  though  he  himself  had  been  among  the  blest; 

Upon  the  Koran's  promise  he  relies, 
Whereon  doth  all  sound  doctrine  firmly  rest. 

And  yet  the  Prophet,  he  who  wrote  each  verse, 
From  his  high  place  discovers  where  we  ail, 

Seeing  how,  despite  the  thunders  of  his  curse, 
Doubt  cruelly  wrings  our  faith  and  makes  it 

Therefore  he  sends  from  bowers  of  endless  day 
Youth's    perfect    pattern   to   make   all   things 

Hither  she  hovers,  making  no  delay, 

And  round  my  neck  the  loveliest  chains  has 


Upon  my  knees,  my  breast,  child  of  the  skies, 
I  hold  her,  nor  would  know  a  thing  save  this, 

Now  having  potent  faith  in  Paradise, 

Since  I  would  ever  give  her  that  long  kiss.* 


After  the  Battle  of  Bedr,  under  the  starry  heaven. 


THE  foe  may  sorrow  foi  his  dead, 
For  they  return  not  with  the  years ; 

Lament  not  ye  our  brethren  sped, 
They  move  above  yon  glittering  spheres. 

Their  brazen  doors  the  planets  seven 
To  these  our  fellows  have  flung  wide, 

And  boldly  at  the  gates  of  Heaven 
Already  knock  our  glorified. 

Surprised,  o'erjoyed,  those  glorious  things 
They  find,  by  me  behold  in  flight, 

When  on  the  marvellous  horse  with  wings 
Instant  I  pierced  heaven's  highest  height. 

*23rd  April  1820, 

XII.    BOOK  OF  PARADISE          177 

The  trees  of  wisdom  spiring  vast, 

Lift  their  gold  apples  to  the  air, 
The  trees  of  life  broad  shadows  cast 

O'er  blossomed  seats  and  herbage  fair. 

And  now  a  sweet  wind  from  the  East 
Leads  forth  the  heavenly  maiden  choir; 

Thou  with  the  eyes  beginnest  to  feast, 
Sight  is  enough  to  glut  desire. 

They  questioning  stand:  Thy  enterprise? 

Great  plans?     Strife,  bloody,  dangerous? 
A  hero,  sure,  since  in  our  skies; 

In  what  sort  hero?  answer  us! 

Thy  wound  soon  tells  the  thing  they  sought, 
Honour's  memorial  written  plain; 

Fortune  and  grandeur  pass  for  nought, 
Wounds  for  the  faith  alone  remain. 

To  kiosk  they  lead  and  cool  arcade, 
Pillared  with  stones  of  rainbow  light, 

Sipping  the  cup,  in  smiles  arrayed, 
To  juice  of  mystic  grape  they  invite. 

Youth !  more  than  youth  welcome  thou  art ! 

Each  is  as  other  air  and  fire ; 
One  hast  thou  taken  to  thy  heart, 

Mistress  and  friend,  she  rules  thy  choir. 



Yet  not  with  pride  her  bosom  swells 
Queening  it  since  thy  first  caress ; 

Unconscious,  candid,  gay  she  tells 
Of  all  the  others'  worthiness. 

One  leads  thee  to  the  other's  feast, 
Contrived  by  each  in  curious  wise ; 

Thy  wives  are  many,  thy  home  is  rest, 
Gains  worth  the  strife  for  Paradise. 

Accept  the  peace  so  granted  thee; 

Exchange  it  canst  thou  ne'er  again; 
Such  maids  bring  no  satiety, 

Such  wine  can  never  mad  the  brain. 

Here  are  set  forth,  though  there's  little  to  tell, 
The  joys  of  which  pious  Moslems  boast; 

Here  is  their  Paradise  furbished  well 

For  the  fighting  men  of  the  faithful  host.* 


WOMEN  shall  nothing  lose;  truth  pure 

As  theirs  forbids  despair; 
And  yet  of  only  four  we  are  sure, 

Already  entered  there. 

Some  time  between  2nd  July  1814  and  loth  March  1815. 

XII.    BOOK  OF  PARADISE          179 

Zuleika  first,  earth's  sun,  whose  beams 

Flamed  upon  Jussuf  s  eyes; 
Renouncement's  jewel  now,  she  gleams 

The  joy  of  Paradise. 

Next  she,  all  blest,  whose  travail  won 
Salve  for  the  heathen  brood, 

She  who,  deceived,  bewept  her  son 
Lost  on  the  bitter  rood. 

Mohammed's  spouse,  his  weal  who  wrought 

And  glory,  a  wife  approved, 
Who  for  our  life  this  counsel  brought — 

"  One  God,  one  well-beloved." 

Fatima  last,  the  sweet,  the  fair, 
Spouse,  daughter,  flawless-soul'd, 

Pure  spirit  with  her  angelic  air, 
In  body  of  honey-gold. 

There  do  they  dwell,  and  he  whose  praise 
Of  women  shall  touch  the  height, 

Merits  with  these  through  endless  days 
To  wander  in  delight.* 

*  An  earlier  form,  loth  March  1815;  this  later  form  not  before 
autumn  1815. 






TO-DAY  I  stand,  a  warder  true, 
Before  the  gate  of  Paradise, 

And  scarce  I  know  what  I  should  do, 
Thou  comest  in  such  a  doubtful  guise. 

Art  thou  in  very  truth  allied 

To  these  our  folk,  the  Moslem  race? 

What  combats  keen,  what  service  tried, 
Commend  thee  to  this  heavenly  place? 

With  those  heroic  souls  dost  dare 
To  reckon  thee?     Thy  wounds  display! 

For  they  will  glorious  things  declare, 
And  I  shall  lead  thee  on  thy  way. 


Why  all  this  nice  punctilio?     What! 

Promptly  my  right  of  entrance  grant, 
For  I  have  been  a  man,  and  that 

Means  I  have  been  a  combatant. 

XII.    BOOK  OF  PARADISE         181 

Keen-visioned  thou,  but  look  more  near 
Traverse  this  breast  with  piercing  sight ; 

Wounds  of  life's  perfidy  see  here, 

See  here  the  wounds  of  love's  delight ! 

And  yet  I  sang  in  credulous  wise 

My  love's  pure  faith  inviolate, 
And  that  the  world,  which  whirls  and  flies, 

Is  gracious  nor  can  be  ingrate. 

I  wrought  with  men  of  rarest  worth, 
And  this  attained,  that  round  my  name 

Love  from  the  fairest  hearts  on  earth 
Shone  like  an  aureole  of  flame. 

No  mean  man  hast  thou  chosen.     Nay! 

Give  me  thy  hand,  for  I  devise 
On  these  slight  fingers  day  by  day 

To  reckon  the  eternities.* 



YONDER,  without,  where  I  did  wait 
When  speech  to  thee  I  first  addressed, 

Oft  held  I  watch  beside  the  gate, 
Obedient  to  behest. 

*  24th  April  1820. 


There  a  marvellous  murmur  my  sense  would  fill, 

A  rippling  sound  and  of  syllable, 

That  fain  would  pass  inside; 

Yet  no  man  could  be  spied; 

Faint,  fainter,  still  it  grew,  then  died. 

Almost  as  chime  thy  songs,  its  rise  and  fall  ; 

That  can  I  well  recall. 


Beloved  for  ever !  with  what  tender  care 

Remembrance  on  thy  lover  is  bestowed ! 

Those  sounds  that  live  upon  the  earthly  air, 

After  the  earthly  mode. 

They  all  would  upward  pass ; 

But  many  fail  and  fall,  a  ponderous  mass; 

Others  impelled  by  the  spirit's  flight  and  race, 

Like  that  winged  courser  which  the  Prophet  bore, 

Ascend  and  float  before 

The  gate  of  Heaven. 

To  thy  companions  should  like  hap  be  given, 

Let  them  in  gracious  wise  attend  it  still, 

And  reinforce  the  echo  with  good  will, 

That  it  may  sound  below  with  charmed  call ; 

And  let  them  give  good  heed, 

What  chance  soe'er  befall, 

That,  if  he  come  indeed, 

His  gifts  may  every  heart  bestead, 

So  shall  both  worlds  be  vantaged. 

XII.    BOOK  OF  PARADISE         183 

Theirs  is  it  to  reward  him  well; 
Yielding  with  fond,  compliant  bent, 
They  grant  him  leave  with  them  to  dwell ; 
The  good  find  soon  their  sweet  content. 
But  mine  thou  art  by  Heaven's  decrees, 
Nor  shalt  thou  pass  from  out  the  eternal  peace; 
To  watch  the  gate  no  more  be  thy  repair ! 
Nay,  rather  send  a  spouseless  sister  there.* 



THY  love,  thy  kiss  enrapture  me ! 

Secrets  I  may  not  ask,  but  tell 

If  in  the  life  terrestrial 

Thou  ever  hast  had  part. 

Often  the  thought  has  come  to  haunt  my  heart, 

Ay,  I  would  swear,  ay,  I  could  prove  the  same, 

Erewhile  Zuleika  was  thy  name. 


Straight  from  the  elements  are  we  fashioned, 
From  water  and  fire,  from  earth  and  air; 
By  the  heavy  breath  of  your  terrene  sphere 
Our  very  essence  is  offended; 

*  Before  7th  June  1820. 


Never  to  you  have  we  descended; 

But  when  to  your  rest  we  welcome  you, 

Good  sooth,  we  have  enough  to  do ! 

For  you  must  know,  when  the  Faithful  came 

By  the  Prophet  well  accredited, 

Their  seats  in  Paradise  to  claim, 

By  us,  whom  his  counsel  wholly  led, 

Such  gracious  airs,  such  charms,  were  shown 

As  the  angels  of  heaven  had  never  known. 

But  from  each  that  came,  first,  second,  third, 
Of  some  former  favourite  we  heard, 
Compared  with  Houris  mere  riff-raff, 
Yet  they  were  the  wheat  and  we  the  chaff; 
We  were  ravishing,  spiiituelle  and  gay, 
But  our  Moslems  would  to  the  earth  away. 

Now  to  heaven's  highborn,  you  will  agree, 

Such  treatment  needs  must  come  amiss; 

Conspirators  sworn  to  mutiny, 

We  plotted  that  and  we  plotted  this; 

When  swift    through   the   heavens    the    Prophet 


And  we  follow  with  eager  eyes  his  traces ; 
On  his  homeward  flight  he  would  notice  things, 
And  bring  to  a  halt  the  horse  with  wings. 

XII.    BOOK   OF  PARADISE         185 

Yes :    there  in  our  midst  he  took  his  station, 

And  kindly  grave  in  the  prophet's  fashion, 

Spake  precepts  brief  for  the  heavenly  bride, 

And  left  us  but  ill-satisfied; 

For  to  compass  the  end  that  he  approves, 

We  must  be  mere  complacency, 

As  your  thoughts  were,  so  ours  must  be; 

In  a  word  we  must  grow  your  earthly  loves. 

Thus  self-esteem  clean  disappears ; 
The  damsels  scratched  behind  their  ears; 
But  it  struck  us  that  in  the  life  unending 
It  is  never  correct  to  prove  unbending. 

So  each  man  sees  what  he  saw  before, 
And  all  that  now  happens  happened  of  yore; 
We  are  beauties  brunette  and  beauties  blond, 
We  have  fancies  nice  and  humours  fond; 
Yes,  and  often  a  spice  of  the  rogue  will  come, 
So  that  each  man  thinks  he  is  still  at  home; 
Maids  merry  and  mad,  it  pleases  us 
That  our  dear  deluded  take  it  thus. 

But  you're  of  free  humour;  to  your  eyes 
I  come  as  a  child  of  Paradise ; 
Although  I  were  never  Zuleika,  you 
To  a  glance  and  a  kiss  give  honour  due; 
Yet  since  she  was  wholly  sweet  and  fair, 
She  was  sure  my  picture  to  a  hair. 



Thou  makest  me  blind  with  thy  celestial  light; 
Be  it  the  truth  or  but  some  juggling  sleight, 
Enough,  that  I  admire  thee  past  all  measure! 
To  fail  in  nought  that  may  with  duty  chime, 
To  raise  to  height  a  German  poet's  pleasure, 
A  Houri  speaks  in  doggerel  German  rhyme ! 


And  rhyme  you  too,  even  as  the  verse  shall  rise 

From  out  the  soul,  not  harassed  to  invent ; 

To  us,  the  associates  of  Paradise, 

Grateful  are  words  and  deeds  of  pure  intent ; 

Learn  that  even  beasts  find  entrance  to  the  skies, 

If  faithful  proven  and  obedient ; 

A  downright  word  to  Houris  is  no  blow; 

We  feel  that  what  the  full  heart  speaks, 

What  from  a  living  source  outbreaks, 

In  Paradise  may  flow.* 



AGAIN  thy  finger's  pressure !    Canst  thou  say 
How  many  an  aeon  thou  and  I 
Have  dwelt  together  here  in  amity? 

*  Karlsbad,  loth  May  1820. 

XII.    BOOK  OF  PARADISE         187 


Nay,  nor  desire  to  know  it,  nay ! 

Manifold,  ever  new,  our  bliss, 

The  chaste,  eternal,  spouselike  kiss ! 

When  every  moment  thrills  me  with  delight 

How  should  I  question  of  the  centuries'  flight? 


Yet  wert  thou  absent  once;  I  mind  it  well; 
Measureless  time,  beyond  all  power  to  tell; 
Nor  didst  thou  quail  while  those  far  worlds  were 


But  dared  to  probe  the  very  deeps  of  God; 
Now  let  thy  best-beloved  be  thy  thought ! 
Some  little  song  for  her  hast  thou  not  brought? 
How  went  the  strain  outside  this  heavenly  place? 
How  goes  it?     Nay,  I  would  not  urge  thee  more, 
Sing  me  the  songs  Zuleika  heard  of  yore, 
In  Paradise  thou  couldst  not  add  a  grace.* 



PROMISE,  of  Paradise  that  spoke, 
Four  favoured  beasts  did  hear; 

And  now  with  saints  and  pious  folk 
They  live  the  eternal  year. 

*  1820  or  later. 


First  comes  an  ass  with  lively  tread ; 

She  takes  the  place  of  honour, 
For,  to  the  City  of  Prophets  led, 

Rode  Jesus  mounted  on  her. 

Sidles  a  wolf  with  timorous  air, 

Whom  Mahomet  schooled  in  duty : 
'  This  poor  man's  sheep  be  sure  you  spare 
The  rich  man's  be  your  booty." 

Brisk,  brave,  wagging  his  tail,  now  see, 
With  master  brave,  in  heaven, 

The  little  dog  that  faithfully 
Slept  with  the  Sleepers  Seven. 

Here  purrs  Abuherrira's  cat 

Round  him,  with  coaxings  bland; 

A  holy  creature  sure  is  that 
Stroked  by  the  Prophet's  hand.* 



QUIT  me  of  pains  and  penalties 

Although  such  things  I  teach !     The  whole 
To  interpret  with  illumined  eyes, 

Question  the  deeps  of  your  own  soul. 

*  22nd  February  1815. 

XII.     BOOK   OF   PARADISE         189 

So  shall  you  learn  that  every  man 

Who  is  not  with  himself  at  strife, 
All  that  he  is  would  fain  conserve 

In  heaven  as  in  this  lower  life. 

The  self  I  cherish  here  should  need 
Easements  and  aids,  no  scanty  store, 

Delights,  which  here  I  drank  with  greed, 
I  fain  would  keep  for  evermore. 

Fair  gardens  now  our  sense  caress, 
Flowers,  fruits,  a  graceful  girl  or  boy; 

Here  we  all  love  them,  there  no  less 
The  spirit  made  young  in  these  will  joy. 

All  friends  once  dear,  the  old,  the  young, 
In  one  glad  group  I  would  comprise, 

And  gladly  in  the  German  tongue 
Stammer  the  speech  of  Paradise. 

Yet  hear  we  dialects  angels  use 

With  men,  when  soft  speech  rippling  flows, 
And  grammar  of  a  rule  abstruse, 

Declining  poppy,  declining  rose. 

There,  in  a  rhetoric  of  the  eye, 

The  heart  glad  utterance  shall  have  found, 
Upraised  to  heights  of  ecstasy, 

Without  a  tone;  without  a  sound. 


Yet  tone  and  sound  from  words  outbreak, 
Self-understood,  that  so  the  spirit 

Illumed  more  conscious  joy  may  take 
In  boundless  life  it  doth  inherit. 

And  if  our  senses  five  obtain 

In  Paradise  boon  things  that  please, 

Certain  it  is  that  I  shall  gain 
A  single  sense  for  all  of  these. 

Now  far  and  wide  with  step  elate 
The  endless  circles  may  be  trod, 

Through  whose  expanse  doth  penetrate, 
Living  and  pure,  the  Word  of  God. 

Unchecked  the  glowing  impulse  plays, 
Limitless  life,  a  boundless  flight, 

Till  on  the  Eternal  Love  at  gaze, 

Soaring,  our  spirits  are  lost  to  sight.* 



Six  young  men,  the  palace  favourites, 
Fly  before  the  Emperor's  anger, 
Who  as  God  demanded  reverence, 
Yet  unlike  a  God  he  bore  him, 
For  a  fly  his  pleasure  thwarted 
While  he  sat  at  table  feasting. 

*  2jrd  September  1818. 

XII.    BOOK  OF  PARADISE         191 

Fanning,  the  attendants  vexed  it, 
Could  not  chase  it  from  the  chamber; 
Still  it  buzzed  and  pricked  and  wandered, 
Set  the  table  in  confusion, 
Back  returned,  a  very  envoy 
Of  the  god  of  flies  malicious. 

"  What!  " — so  spake  the  youths  together — 

"  One  small  fly  a  God  discomfit! 

Shall  a  God,  as  all  the  others, 

Eat  and  drink?     Nay,  One  and  Only, 

He  who  sun  and  moon  created, 

Who  heaven's  starry  splendour  vaulted, 

He  is  God !     We  fly."— The  tender 

Youths  light-sandalled,  gaily-vested, 

Found  reception  of  a  shepherd, 

Who  concealed  them  in  a  cavern, 

With  himself,  their  entertainer. 

Nor  his  dog  would  quit  the  shepherd, 

Chased  away,  his  fore-foot  broken, 

Yet  he  pressed  towards  his  master, 

Joined  them  hidden  in  the  cavern, 

Joined  the  men  beloved  of  Slumber. 

Now  the  Prince  they  fled  from;  maddened 
By  love's  fury,  brooded  vengeance. 
Sword  and  fire  he  straight  rejected, 
In  the  hollow  cave  immured  them, 
Built  them  in  with  brick  and  mortar. 


But  they  slept,  nor  ceased  from  sleeping. 
Spake  the  Angel,  their  protector, 
At  God's  throne  their  case  reporting : 
"  Now  on  this  side,  now  on  that  side, 
Have  I  ever  turned  their  bodies, 
That  the  limbs,  so  young  and  lovely, 
Be  not  marred  by  damps  exhaling; 
In  the  rock  I  rent  a  fissure, 
That  the  sun  arising,  setting, 
Might  refresh  the  youthful  faces; 
So  they  lie  and  so  are  blessed. 
Also,  head  on  paws,  healed  wholly, 
Rests  the  little  dog  in  slumber." 

Years  flew  past  and  years  kept  coming, 
Till  at  length  the  young  men  wakened. 
There  the  grey  walls,  slowly  mouldering, 
With  the  years  had  fallen  in  ruin. 

Spake  Jamblica,  he  the  comely, 
He  of  all  the  best  instructed, 
While  in  fear  the  shepherd  tarried— 
"  I  will  go  and  fetch  provision, 
Life  and  this  gold  piece  I  venture." 

Long  time  Ephesus  in  reverence 
Held  the  teaching  of  the  Prophet, 
Jesus  (Peace  be  with  the  Gracious !) 

XII.    BOOK  OF  PARADISE          193 

So  he  went ;  but  all  was  altered, 
Gates  and  bastions  and  watch-towers, 
Yet  in  search  of  food  he  hastened, 
Turned  him  to  the  nearest  baker's. 
"  Rogue!  hast  thou,"  so  cried  the  baker, 
"  Hast  thou,  young  man,  found  a  treasure? 
See,  this  piece  of  gold  betrays  thee, 
Give  me  half  to  hush  the  matter!  " 

So  dispute  arose.  The  business 
Comes  before  the  King;  he  also 
Seeks  a  share  as  did  the  baker. 

Now  the  miracle  is  proven 

By  a  hundred  gradual  tokens. 

To  the  palace  he  had  builded. 

Skilled  he  is  his  claim  to  stablish. 

For  a  pillar,  all-engraven, 

Points  to  treasure  that  lies  hidden. 

Straight  the  family  assembles, 

Eager  to  make  clear  their  kinship, 

He,  in  flower  of  earliest  manhood, 

Shines  as  ancestor  primeval, 

Hears  them  name  his  sons  and  grandsons 

As  forefathers  long  remembered. 

Round  him  stood  remote  descendants, 

Valiant  men,  a  tribe  of  heroes, 

Venerating  him,  the  youngest. 


Fast  on  one  proof  crowds  another 
Till  the  truth  stands  sure  and  perfect ; 
And  the  identity  is  proven 
Of  himself  and  his  companions. 

Then  returns  he  to  the  cavern, 
King  and  people  are  his  escort. 
But  to  neither  King  nor  people 
Comes  again  the  elect  of  heaven. 
For  the  Seven,  so  many  ages- 
Eight,  for  let  the  dog  be  reckoned— 
From  the  whole  world  held  in  severance 
Hath  the  secret  power  of  Gabriel, 
To  the  will  of  God  submissive, 
Borne  to  Paradise  for  ever. 
Walled  before  them  seemed  the  cavern.* 



Now,  dear  songs,  go  take  your  rest 
Gently  on  my  people's  breast ! 
And  in  a  musky  incense-cloud 
Be  courteous  Gabriel  allowed 
To  tend  the  limbs  of  one  sore  spent, 
That  fresh  and  sound,  and  still  intent 
On  social  joys,  as  ever  gay, 
The  fissures  of  the  rock  he  may 

*  December  1814;  revised  May  1815. 


Sunder,  and  with  delighted  eyes, 
Heroes  of  every  century 
His  comrades,  roam  broad  Paradise, 
Where  beauty,  ever  springing  new, 
Waxes  around  him  without  end, 
To  glad  a  myriad;  yea,  and  he 
The  little  dog,  companion  true, 
His  master's  footsteps  may  attend.* 

*  December  1814.